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Istanbul: Ottoman classical music; Sufi culture and dervishes

Istanbul: Ottoman classical music; Sufi culture and dervishes

Old Aug 29th, 2013, 03:50 AM
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Istanbul: Ottoman classical music; Sufi culture and dervishes

We’ll be spending 2 weeks in Istanbul in the second half of September. A couple of questions:

(1) Any suggestions for places to hear Ottoman classical music? A concert that would provide more variety, eg with more maqams being covered, would be better since I haven’t listened to much of the music.

(2) Is there a Sufi cultural center which would be interesting to visit? While any part of Sufism would be ok, if it happens to be the Mevlevis that would be even better since I’ve read a little bit of Rumi, and because I would like to see the dervishes in their sama ceremony as well, so it would be nice to get some more cultural context. In addition, any recs on where to see the dervishes (ideally that are not done just as a tourist performance) would also be appreciated.

We will be based in the Cihangir/Cukucuma area, so anything nearby (or reachable by public transport or a short cab ride) would be preferred. Thanks!
krishnan is offline  
Old Aug 29th, 2013, 06:02 PM
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Its for tourists, but if you don't find anything else, the sema is performed at the Hodjapasha Culture Center (as are other Turkish dances):
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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 09:42 AM
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Thanks, kja - that looks like a good option. And it's a bonus that there's about 15 min of Ottoman classical music at the beginning.

Speaking of which, any suggestions (from otherchelebi or other Istanbul experts) on where to hear Ottoman classical music?
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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 11:52 AM
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krishnan, I am sorry but I am neither an expert nor even a fan of Ottman or Sufi music.

I like ney and I like the music of Mercan Dede. I doubt that he will be in Istanbul for a concert at this time but check the web sites of Babylon and Biletix for concerts of all kinds.

For Turkish folk, the new groups, Yeni Turkuler and Kardes Turkuler seem to be fun with the latter singing new protest songs.
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Old Sep 1st, 2013, 06:33 AM
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Thanks, otherchelebi - I've listened to Mercan Dede but not the Turkish groups you mentioned. It was interesting in particular to check out the diversity of the music under Kardes Turkuler, and the protest song Tencere Tava Havasi.

For anyone else who is interested in knowing a little about Ottoman classical music, I just chanced upon an interesting video that features a few short pieces and some description of the music (maqam structure, microtones, etc.) at
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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