Writing the History of “Ottoman Music”
Efkan Oğuz Martin Greve Onur Nobrega
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Publisher and Place:
ERGON VERLAG WÜRZBURG IN KOMMISSION
SBN print: 978-3-95650-094-7, ISBN online: 978-3-95650-703-8
Royal Mughal Ref:
Over the past twenty years the research on the history of Ottoman music and pre- music of Ottoman times has made remarkable progress. Many important sources, theory books, treatises and song collections, which had been hidden in private collections, have been edited, reprinted, or at least analysed in specific articles and monographs. Western as well as Turkish historians and music historians, beginning with Yılmaz Öztuna, Gültekin Oransay, Eckhard Neubauer, Owen Wright, Eugenia Popescu-Judetz, Yalçın Tura, Murat Bardakçı, Walter Feldman, Cem Be- har, Recep Uslu and following them many younger scholars, partially replaced musicians and (ethno-)musicologists in the field of Turkish art music research, and with them a historical, sources-based approach has gained increasing weight.
Today the search for and the analysis of sources is a central field of Turkish mu- sicology, and will probably remain so for several more years. Still a great number of sources deserve scientific editions, such as the Kevserî Mecmuası, the collections with Hamparsum notation of the 19th century, or the only recently discovered post-Byzantine manuscripts (see Kalaitzidis in this book). In particular the scientific edition of music notations (which was in Europe the central field of musicology for more than a century) has hardly begun and will last at least two more decades.
However, together with the increasing knowledge of sources the general historical outline, the cohesion between the growing amount of detail has been in danger of being lost. Whereas the existence of these source gives rise to the hope that a kind of Turkish Ottoman music history going back to earlier than the start of the 20th century could be possible (different from so many other music cultures in which no written sources exist), even if concepts of historiography and
strategies of writing an encompassing history have hardly been discussed.
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