Westernizatıon in Turkish Music from the Ottoman Empire to the Republican Era: Egyptian Music as Alternative
Author/s: Bilen Işıktaş
OnlineFirst published on September 20, 2016
Year: 2016 Vol: 36 Number: 1
The Ottoman Empire, which was losing its competitive power against the West, initiated a process of modernization with the 19th century. This process turned toward the West, responding to the increasingly superior West by trying to become like it. While this modernization process was initially restricted to the military, with time, it also impacted social life and the different branches of art. This Westernization process, which was rather soft during the Ottoman period, turned serious during the Republican Era. Turkish music, considered to have an Ottoman past with oriental elements, was banned. Classical Western music and polyphonic methods in local music were imposed on the population through a series of prohibitions. However, the state’s attempt to define cultural practices, and music easily accessible for these practices, led to an orientation towards Egyptian music, the closest to the people’s customs, through available public channels. In the long run, Egyptian music had permanent impact, which it affected through radio and cinema, on Turkish society’s musical habits.