The 48th BEAM meeting will be held at Humboldt University’s Department of Musicology, Am Kupfergraben 5, Room 501. Two visiting scholars working on Turkish music, Martin Greve and Yaprak Melike Uyar, will speak on their recent research. We meet 6-8PM on Thursday, June 13. All are welcome!
Martin Greve (Orient-Institut Istanbul) will speak on “The Sound of Dersim: Musical Tradition and Revival in an Eastern Anatolian Province.”
In many aspects the eastern Anatolian region of Dersim (Tunceli) differs from its neighbouring provinces: until mid-20th century only a small minority spoke Turkish, main languages where Zaza and Kurmanci, until
1915 also Armenian. Moreover, it is the only province of Turkey with
an Alevi majority. It’s previously rich musical traditions, however,
including songs, extended laments, and alevi hymns have hardly survived
the manifold terror of the 20th century. In 1937/38 Dersim suffered a
military operation ending up in massacres on the population, and forced
resettlement to west Turkey. Later violent operations of the PKK and the
Turkish army against them, led to massive migration to Western parts of
Turkey and Europe. The lecture aims to describe the difficult and still
ongoing research within a traumatized and highly politicized society, as
well as the efforts of Europe and Istanbul based musicians such as Metin
& Kemal Kahraman, Ahmet Aslan, or Mikail Aslan to revitalize the ruins
of their musical culture.
Yaprak Melike Uyar (Research Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin) will speak on “Cultural Omnivorousness and Turkish Psychedelic Music.”
The most artistically productive years of Turkish popular music started in the late sixties, and followed with the Anatolian pop/rock movement of the 1970s, signifying a localized version of psychedelic rock, and rock’n roll. However, following the 1980 military coup, Anatolian pop/rock experienced a dramatic decline as many recordings were destroyed under the new political and cultural oppression, while others were forgotten, and abandoned in mouldy basements. Thanks to the efforts of DJs interested in bringing local music back to the scene, and the nostalgic revival of vinyl culture, Turkish popular music from the 1970s was resurrected in the second half of the 2000s, and gained a popularity that no other musical movement from Turkey had ever previously achieved. Many of the Anatolian pop/rock records were recently re-discovered by the record diggers and reappeared in Turkish psych compilations in the last decade or so. In the new millennium, Anatolian pop/rock gained a new label in the global music market: ‘Turkish psychedelic’.
This lecture explores Turkish psychedelic music with the aid of concepts such as orientalism and cultural omnivorousness. Cultural omnivorousness, a term introduced by Richard Peterson in 1992, defines a wide array of cultural tastes, including what was previously defined as highbrow and lowbrow, while neglecting the hierarchical cultural boundaries among genres. Using a mixture of ethnographic and archival methodologies, this lecture aims to define Turkish psychedelic as a genre, as well as the processes in the music industry which resulted in its use as an umbrella term for both Anatolian pop/rock, jazz, Arabesk, funk, pop, and disco music that were all produced in Turkey during the 1970s.
Further information on the speakers:
Martin Greve is a musicologist and ethnomusicologist. His research focuses on the music of Turkey. Dr. Greve’s dissertation deals with the history of Turkish art music in the 20th century. In 2003, he completed his habilitation with an examination of Turkish music in Germany. He taught ethnomusicology, Turkish music, and intercultural competence at various universities and music academies in Germany and Switzerland. These include: TU Berlin, FU Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin, Universität Basel, Universität Heidelberg and the conservatories in Stuttgart and Cologne. He was commissioned by the migration and integration representatives of the city of Berlin to write pamphlets on Turkish and Korean life in Berlin. From 2005 to 2011, Dr. Greve was director of the Turkish music study program at the Rotterdam World Music Academy (part of Codarts Rotterdam). From 2007 to 2011, he was an advisor to the Berlin Philharmonic for the “Alla Turca” concert program. When the city of Essen was named European Capital of Culture for 2010, he was artistic director of the interreligious concert program “Night Prayer.” Since May 2011, Dr. Greve has been a research fellow at the Orient-Institut Istanbul. He is responsible for musicological research at the Institute.