Alaturka: Style in Turkish Music (1923–1938): 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Alaturka: Style in Turkish Music (1923–1938)

1st Edition

By John Morgan O'Connell


306 pages

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Paperback: 9781138245860
pub: 2016-08-26
Hardback: 9781409447412
pub: 2013-09-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315566528
pub: 2016-03-23
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The early-Republican era (1923-1938) was a major period of musical and cultural change in Turkey. Alaturka: Style in Turkish Music is a study of the significance of style in Turkish music and, in particular, the polemical debate about an eastern style of Turkish music (called, alaturka) that developed during this rich and complicated era of Turkish history. Representing more than twenty years of research, the book explores the stylistic categories that show the intersection between music and culture; the different chapters treat musical materials, musical practices and musical contexts in turn. Informed by critical approaches to musical aesthetics in ethnomusicology as well as musicology and anthropology, the book focuses upon a native discourse about musical style, highlighting a contemporary apprehension about the appropriate constitution of a national identity. The argument over style discloses competing conceptions of Turkish space and time where definitions of the east and the west, and interpretations of the past and the present respectively were hotly contested. John Morgan O'Connell makes a significant contribution to the study of Turkish music in particular and Turkish history in general. Conceived as a historical ethnography, the book brings together archival sources and ethnographic materials to provide a critical revision of Turkish historiography, music providing a locus for interrogating singular representations of a national past.


'Alaturka represents a monumental study that meticulously traces and analyzes the stylistic shaping of a single artist’s career to illuminate larger issues of national culture in a post-Ottoman state. As an ethnomusicological engagement with history, the book persuades us of the embeddedness of music and the literary arts in social history, and, it is hoped, will inspire further cross-disciplinary scholarship related to music in cultural studies of the Middle East and beyond.' Ethnomusicology

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Prologue: style in Turkish music; Defining style; Debating style; A Turkish stylist; Presenting style; Representing style; Concert style; Social style; Epilogue: style in Turkish history; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

John Morgan O’Connell is director of the programme in Ethnomusicology at Cardiff University. His publications principally concern the musical traditions of the Islamic world, being especially interested in issues related to music and conflict, and music in application. He has also acted as a music consultant for a number of international organizations.

About the Series

SOAS Studies in Music Series

SOAS Musicology Series is today one of the world’s leading series in the discipline of ethnomusicology. Our core mission is to produce high-quality, ethnographically rich studies of music-making in the world’s diverse musical cultures. We publish monographs and edited volumes that explore musical repertories and performance practice, critical issues in ethnomusicology, sound studies, historical and analytical approaches to music across the globe. We recognize the value of applied, interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and our authors draw on current approaches in musicology and anthropology, psychology, media and gender studies. We welcome monographs that investigate global contemporary, classical and popular musics, the effects of digital mediation and transnational flows.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / International