Playlists: Turkish Ney & Sanat Music

Since teaching Turkish ney again on a regular basis it has allowed me to look at my Turkish research (1998-2005) again more closely. I am re-opening my folders and note books searching for appropriate material to give to students. This is a long process as there is so much “stuff” to shift through.

The majority of the material is notation: photocopies from the conservatoire, books from music shops. I have a lot of the photocopies recorded by my teachers, but the books I do not. So I am in the process of finding these recordings online, and hearing (perhaps for the first time) what the notation sounds like.

I have made a playlist of Ney artists that were recommended to me by my teachers. It is a lineage of musicians which have the “approval” of a certain Turkish tradition (silsila). This means there are different traditions within one musical genre, in this case Turkish Sanat music.

I never realised this before I went to Turkey. I thought it is just music…Bach, Beethoven are individual composers, right? But in Turkey, I learned there was “good and bad” music in Sanat music, and I should “listen to the right” kind of music!

At first I thought this was quite arrogant, who is to say what is good or bad? But now I think it means something different. Following a certain musical tradition is connected to a deeper cultural identity, which is also connected to things beyond music.

So what do you listen to if you are not part of a lineage? Or you don´t have a teacher to tell you what to listen to? Is it ok just to turn on youtube and hear anything? I feel you have to start somewhere, and perhaps this playlist is a “somewhere”.

I tried to put this playlist together for my students, the thing which binds them together is the Turkish ney, Sanat musicians and Ottoman composers. It comprises of ilahi (hymns), instrumental music, secular love songs etc.

They were recommended to me by my teachers (some of the musicians were my teachers at one point), so I have a connection with them. But the list also gives a good idea of ney music too, not only the “taksim” (improvisations), which we hear a lot of, but composed music and how the ney fits in with the orchestra. Some pieces are repeated by different artists to give an idea of different interpretations of the same notation.

I have made a few of these playlists recently, which I will share with you when I have edited them. This one is a general starting point, but in the future it will be more genre specific: books and notation, musicians and composers. Not only Turkish music, but also other genres of music that give an insight into a particular musical genre.

A full track list of the playlist can be found via my youtube site.