How About A Little Dance Music?

I tricked you! It is dance music but Anatolian folk dance music that is in the traditions of the western classical music. Weird, huh? Well the reason why it is in the traditions of the western classical music is because it uses the tones of the western music. Western classical and Turkish classical music have different tones than the Turkish classical music. In western music, the step closest between two notes is half a step. In Turkish classical music, that step is divided into another step. So you get a quarter step. If you are in front of a piano, you can not play the sound of these quarter steps as the piano is tuned to be half a step apart.

I am really simplifying it to the extreme here and I am certainly not an expert on Turkish classical music but I know a modest few things about it as I was born and raised in Turkey. If you are interested in reading more about it, here is a link to the “Ottoman Classical Music” at Wikipedia.

The video below with me on the piano is certainly not Turkish classical music. It’s Turkish western music composed by a Turkish composer Ulvi Cemal Erkin. Ulvi Cemal Erkin, one of Turkey’s biggest western classical music composers, have written the piece in 1937. The piece is called “Duyuslar”, which translates as “Impressions”. In the video, I am playing four pieces of the entire eleven pieces of the work. The first one is called “Oyun” (Folk Dance), the second one is “Kucuk Coban” (Little Shepherd), the third one “Kagni” (Oxcart) and the last one “Zeybek Havasi” (West Anatolian Folk Dance). The second one (Little Shepherd) is in the style of an improvisation. It is as if the little shepherd was sitting in the meadows and singing on its own. The last one (West Anatolian Folk Dance) is a Zeybek Dance – a dance created by Zeybek warriors – and it is believed to be an attempt to simulate the movements of hawks and eagles.



Here is another video that explains the origins of the Zeybek Dance.


I hope this is interesting to you.

Stay musically…




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