Sufism, Music and Society in Turkey and the Middle East (Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul Transactions) review
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Review of Sufism, Music and Society in Turkey and the Middle East (Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul Transactions)
With the collapse of the Ottoman empire after World War I and the restructure of Turkey with Ataturk as leader, the push to create a modern European-looking nation suffered the excesses of many revolutions and this include the attack on traditional "Oriental" music. Folk music was permitted primarily as a source of melodies for Western polytonal composition with mainly European orchestral instruments, in the manner of Bartok and Khachaturian. Sufi lodges were disbanded and with them their rites and music. This book discusses the history of musical forms in Turkey before, during, and now after the politically directed injunctions in a scholarly but readable anthology of papers presented at a conference in Istanbul in 1997. Included is a paper on the role of Jews and Jewish religious music in Ottoman art music. Another article of note is on Albania as another example of political interference on traditional musics. Key to the recent relaxation and influx of musical influences from neighboring Middle Eastern lands was mass communication: recordings, tapes, and the internet and the role of musicians themselves in wishing to expand and explore their idioms. This book provides a fine introduction to the complex of music, Islam, and society in one of the crossroads of the world.