Turkey Theater

Turkey Theater and Music


Although Western-style theater prevails in Turkey, according to rctoysadvice, attempts are made to preserve traditional spectacular forms, completely foreign to European tradition. In fact, the Turks had two particular and important genres that have their roots in popular culture. The first is the Orta Oyunu (central show), a sort of Commedia dell’Arte with easy-going jokes, fixed characters and allusions to current events, which was recited, accompanied by music and dances, by professional companies. The performances generally took place outdoors (but in winter also in taverns or in the palaces of the rich) for an audience that contributed to the maintenance of the actors with voluntary offers. The other important genus is the Karagöz, a shadow theater that took its name from the protagonist of his stories and that soon spread throughout the Islamic world. The shows were presented in cafes and served as a commentary on daily events for an audience extended to all social classes. The most significant attempt to modernize it is due to the writer Aziz Nesim (1915-1995). Towards the end of the eighteenth century, Western influence began to be felt: theaters on the European model were built which generally hosted foreign prose and opera companies, but which in the second half of the nineteenth century also hosted performances in Turkish (the first professional company however, it was entirely composed of Armenians). Among other things, it hindered a dramatic activity with local protagonists the prohibition of women of Islamic faith from appearing on the scene. With the advent of the republic, the theatrical situation also changed considerably: a municipal theater was opened in İstanbul entrusted to the direction of Muhsin Ertuğrul, an actor who had gained experience in Russia, and with paintings provided by the National Conservatory existing since 1915 and the past. directly employed by the state in 1936. They were called as consultants P. Hindemith and C. Ebert and courses for actors, singers and players were inaugurated. The intervention of the public authorities contributed to making the theater an important element of the country’s cultural life. The major institutions, heavily supported by the state, are the Istanbul Municipal Theater, with four halls and an opera company, and the Ankara State Theater, with four halls in the capital, two in the province, an opera company. and one of ballet. The repertoires include translations of European texts and works by national authors, the replicas are quite numerous and last for a couple of months on average, the prices very low. Among the most successful theatrical authors in contemporary Turkey we mention Haldun Taner (1916-1986), Orhan Asena (1921-2001),(1921-2001) and Turgut Özakman (b.1930). For reasons related to the language and the relative isolation of Turkish culture, there are few theater authors who have experienced some international success: among these stands out Bilgesu Erenus (b.1943), a committed and eclectic writer and singer, known for her dramas at social background or inspired by issues related to Turkish emigration to Europe.

Turkey Theater


The Turkish musical civilization is part of the substantially unitary framework of the music of the Islamic Near East. It too is based on an articulated scale in a profoundly different way from the European one and such as to allow for minimal subtleties and melodic nuances. In fact, Turkish musical theory identifies within the octave a scale of 24 sounds (derived from the 24 keys of the main Turkish instrument, a lute called tanbur) and distinguishes on this basis a hundred “modes”. Even for the rhythmic aspect, subtle and complex combinations are theorized. Cultured secular music is closely linked to the Arab tradition. As in it, a type of instrumental piece built as a suite of sections all based on the same maqan is fundamental, that is, on the same melodic formula, subject to processes of variation. Similar are also the main tools. Sacred music is divided into three basic genres: Ilahi, the hymns for the various months of the Muslim year, Tevchic (praises of the Prophet), Ayni Cherif, repertoire of dervishes. A singular aspect of the relationship between Turkish and European music is the popularity it had in Europe towards the end of the century. XVIII the music of the Janissaries (the bodyguards of the sultans), with its characteristic percussion instruments (triangles, drums, cymbals): it was the object of imitation or at least of allusion by numerous composers, including L. van Beethoven and WA Mozart. A very popular musical genre is the so-called Arabesk, which mixes Turkish music and Arabic music: it is the music that is usually played in supermarkets and on buses. However, the most popular music in Turkey today is the so-called Turkish pop, an unpredictable mélange of traditional rhythms and instruments, movements, texts and suggestions borrowed from international pop. The stars of Turkish pop, such as Tarkan, Mahzar Alanson or the MFOs, are well known in their homeland and naturally enjoy a moderate sales success even in countries where Turkish emigration is more sensitive, such as Germany. A Turkish pop singer particularly eclectic is Zülfü Livaneli, a singer-songwriter who mixes classical Turkish music, western pop and “cultured” texts such as poems by L. Aragon and P. Eluard translated into Turkish; equally loved by intellectuals the singer Sezen Aksu, who combines the extreme cantability typical of Arabesk with the restlessness and sounds of a certain international rock. The best known Sufi music interpreter in Turkey is Mercan Dede (real name Arkin Allen) an artist capable of reviving the ancient tradition of the dervishes by fusing it with electronic research; more tied to tradition is Suleyman Erguner, a virtuoso of a typical wooden flute called ney and heir to a dynasty of dancers and musicians.


About the author