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CLASSIC TURKISH MUSIC

COMPARISON OF TURKISH MUSIC AND WESTERN MUSIC SOUND SYSTEMS IN TERMS OF “INFORMATIVE VALUE”

Prof. dr. Ayhan SONGAR
(*) This paper was written by the late Prof.Dr. It was presented by Ayhan Songar at the 3rd Session of the 1st Music Congress held in Ankara on 14-18 June 1988 by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey.
Sir, the paper that I will present is rather a psychological evaluation and research of the issue.
Music is a human event that exists in society at all times. As a matter of fact, it has been shown by researches that this is not only related to the discovery of music by people, but also to people's discovery of their relations with music.
The brain structure, which distinguishes humans from other living things, not only gives them the opportunity to speak, communicate, and think abstractly, but also paves the way for non-verbal expression in the musical style. As a result, artistic, creativity and evaluation are possible for humans. Studies have shown that the responses of human beings to the ordinary sounds of daily life and the regular sounds we call “music” differ from childhood and the first ages of life. Although music and culture are closely linked, like a baby sleeping with a rhythmic sound and a lullaby, we see that a person also recognizes and likes the music of foreign cultures, no matter how foreign his voice is. This is one of the biggest proofs that music is a human phenomenon and transcends cultures. The human brain can more easily distinguish sounds of certain tones and frequencies from other sounds that rise and fall at random, in other words, noise, if they are repeated regularly over a period of time.
There are various theories about how music was discovered, how it was found. In my article, I list one by one; but I do not want to invade your peace here. I would only like to state that the most valid view in terms of psychiatry and psychology is the theory of communication.
This theory is based on the fact that people find it necessary to use some melodic sounds in order to communicate and convey their feelings and thoughts to each other. People use music to communicate with supernatural powers; that is, it has been claimed that religious music was discovered for the first time in this respect.
In a long development period, the language of culture, vowels and consonants become more specific and used in a certain order. When this order becomes more prominent and the speech gains a melodic character, music is formed. According to a researcher named “Netir”, this differentiation in the communication phenomenon consists of three phases. To summarize: One is undifferentiated communication, communication with noise. Second, to see the differentiation between music and speech. Third, the discovery of the differences between various musical genres.
Regardless of its origin, music – as I just said, is a human, human behavior and it is based on a cultural basis. Acculturation, acculturation, has created some basic institutions that ensure the continuation of that society in various societies. Among these, music is one of the rare examples that can transcend cultures. In that respect, let me say it in one sentence by the way.
I have always been against the fight of Turkish Music - Western Music, polyphonic - monophonic. Music is the property of humanity that transcends cultures. In this respect, nothing prevents a nation from learning, imitating, performing, and creating something from the music of another nation. Although music genres have changed from society to society, basically music has been able to maintain its existence as the common property of humanity.
I would also like to point out the following as something worth emphasizing: Speech and music are biological and psychological faculties that are represented in special centers in the brain. Therefore, when a person is born, he comes with his faculties. As a matter of fact, I had a very dear friend, the deceased was a great man of letters. One day he whispered to me in my ear: "I can't tell the difference between car noise and music." A disease is a congenital defect in the brain. The fact that some people are more musically inclined, people we call "have ears" have a creation that depends on the better development of these faculties, that area of their brain. As a matter of fact, in the disease we call “Amusi” we see in the clinic, we see that the music faculties disappear as a result of the destruction of the music center in the brain. In this way, the patient becomes unable to distinguish between rhythmic and melodic sounds; how in aphasia he cannot hear the voice, speak, distinguish words; in agraphia, he cannot hear the voice, speak, and distinguish the words; such as the inability to see the shapes in the agraph and read the text
I don't want to make a comparison or comparison between Turkish Music and Western Music, I just want to say this. Music is a means of communication, an information tool. Information consists of the sentences constituting it and the letters and signs in which those sentences are arranged. These letters and signs can be alphabet, written, audible, illuminated or other types. For example, pressing the button of a bell and ringing it is a message. For the person waiting for the knock on the door, this message acquires a psychological information value. For example, the lover waiting for his lover to come in at the knock on the door and the lover waiting for the police to take him away, the psychological reaction brought about by the same bell are extremely different situations.
The alphabet of the message can be constructed from many different signs; Like the ideograms in Chinese writing, the letters of the Latin Alphabet we use, the finger marks of the mute, or the musical note in music. The message, then, is a measurable mathematical quantity. This means that the musical message is also a measurable mathematical magnitude. For example, if there is a sign as big as "A" in an alphabet and we create a message by repeating "L" of them, then the number of the message we will create, that we will create with these signs, is "A" over "L", that is, the number of signs is repeated. as strict as it gets. Thus, if we had an alphabet with two signs, if we only used one of them, we would get two to the power of one; so we can bring two separate messages from each other, like a flash of light. On the other hand, if we use two signs, if we use it twice, it will increase in the form of four, if we use it three times, it will increase as a geometric series of nine. The number of signs or the repetition of the use of the sign in the message.
As can be understood from the explanation above, there are two ways to increase the informational value of the message count of an information, either by increasing the signs or by increasing the repetition of those signs.
This is how Turkish Music created monophonic music with its scale arranged on 24 unequal intervals; that is, he increased the different signs in a musical sentence. On the other hand, Western Music has increased the repetition of signs in a music; that is, he has achieved a melodic richness and expressive power by repeating those signs with various instruments. This is the main difference between the two. I am of the opinion that it is extremely harmful and bad to bring this fundamental difference into a fight by bringing one's beauty to the other's evil.
In order not to prolong the issue, I would like to briefly give the incident with an example. Western Music, Polyphonic Western Music is similar to a sculpture, a three-dimensional sculpture created by loading sounds on top of a narrow base. On the other hand, Turkish Music resembles a mosaic spread over a single surface with various colored mosaics. Mosaic and painting are also beautiful, sculptures are also beautiful. Both are beautiful in themselves. But I am of the opinion that making these two comparisons with each other in this way - like trying to pick apples and oranges - is a nonsense.
I will present the more detailed text to the Divan. I will be very grateful if you read it and receive your interest.
Now, with your permission, I will present the notice;
Music is a human event that exists in every era and in every society. The author named Gaskon argued that this is not only due to the discovery of music by people, but also as a result of people's discovery of their relationship with music. The brain structure, which distinguishes man from other living things, not only gives him the opportunity to speak, communicate and think abstractly, but also paves the way for non-verbal expression in the musical style. As a result of this, “artistic creativity and evaluation” is only possible for humans. Studies have shown that the responses of human beings to the ordinary sounds of daily life and the regular sounds we call music differ from childhood to the first ages of life. Although music and culture are closely linked, we see that a person also recognizes and likes the music of foreign cultures, no matter how foreign his voice may be. The human brain can more easily distinguish sounds of certain tones and frequencies from other sounds that randomly rise and fall if they are repeated regularly over a period of time.
Since music is a kind of "human behavior", it is necessary to seek an answer to the question of how people began to use sounds as music, that is, how they discovered music. Darwinists deal with the issue with the methodology of the theory of evolution and associate music with sounds of sexual origin in animals. This view brings with it strong unfavorable evidence that will lead to its immediate rejection. For example, birds also sing outside of mating time. On the other hand, monkeys make sounds that have nothing to do with music even during the mating phase. Another view argues that dance, rhythmic movements existed before music and that music came into being with the transfer of the sense of rhythm to sounds. According to this view, man has found the connection between movement and sounds over time and has discovered music.
The accompaniment of music to various daily activities in primitive tribes and the imitation of these activities with music inspired the idea of "work theory" to some researchers. The imitation theory postulates that man found music by imitating the song of birds. This is denied by the absence of music, despite the imitation of bird sounds in primitive tribes. The theory of expression starts from the point that music is an excited speech and carries the nature of the expression of emotions. The theory of melodic speech states that the tonal differences in human speech are formed by exaggerating intonation.
The most valid view in terms of psychiatry and psychology is the "communication theory". This theory is based on the fact that people find it necessary to use some melodic sounds in order to communicate and express their feelings and thoughts to each other. It is an opinion stemming from this theory that people use music to communicate with supernatural powers, that is, religious music was found for the first time. In a long development period, the language of culture uses vowels and consonants in a more specific and specific order. The fact that this order becomes more prominent and the speech gains a melodic character creates music. According to the researcher named Nettle, this differentiation in the communication event occurs at the upper stage:
1- Undifferentiated communication,
2- Seeing the differentiation between music and speech,
3- The emergence of differentiation between various musical genres.
Regardless of its origin, music is a human behavior unique to human beings and rests on a cultural basis. Acculturation has created a number of basic institutions that ensure the continuation of that society in various societies. Music is one of the rare examples that can transcend cultures. Although music genres have changed from society to society, basically music has been able to maintain its existence as the common property of humanity. The following is also an issue worthy of attention; speech and music are “biological and psychological faculties” represented in special centers in the brain. With the destruction of one of these centers, the loss of speech (aphasia) and with the destruction of the others, the loss of musical ability, the loss of the ability to distinguish sounds, that is, the disease called "amusi" occurs. This means that music, like speech, is a biological vetire that is inherent in creation.
Music is one of the basic institutions of national culture, as well as language, perhaps even more than that. Just as different nations and tribes have different languages, they also have different musical systems. In this respect, art and pleasure can be "universal", but it is not possible to talk about a "universal music".
Turkish music has an important place among world music genres. The written, mawsuk history of Turk goes back to 2500 years ago. Turkish people, who have never been without a state in this vast history, have been together with music in all their daily activities. It is known that there were some percussive instruments to train the soldiers in the Hun Turks. Thus, the history of our music goes back to the ages before Christ. The Göktürks had musical sets similar to the regular military band. The establishment of the Ottoman State was communicated to Osman Ghazi with the drums, tugs, and realms sent by the Seljuk Sultan. Until the reign of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, every day at a certain time, the mehter band would sing in the presence of the ruler and the ruler would listen to it standing up. Our religious music bears the traces of Baksi rites of Central Asian Turks. It is known that physician-priests called shamans cured patients by providing a kind of trance state with music, thus, perhaps for the first time in the history of humanity, the practice of treatment with music was performed. Here, our music, which was fretted on the handle of the "kopuz" and transferred to Anatolia and developed in two branches as "Classical Turkish Music" and "Turkish Folk Music" in terms of expression styles, has important differences from the music of the West and Europe, both technically and in terms of substance. shows. Music is a means of communication, a means of information. Information, on the other hand, consists of the sentences that make up it and the letters and signs from which those sentences are written. These letters, signs, and more generally the alphabet, can be audible, written, illuminated or any other type. For example, pressing the button of a bell and ringing it is a message. For the person waiting for the knock on the door, this message carries a psychological information value. For the person waiting for the knock on the door, this message carries a psychological information value. How different are the psychological values of the same message between the lover who is waiting for his lover to come in if the door is knocked, and the criminal who is waiting for the police to catch him.
The alphabet of the message can be made up of many different signs: the shapes in the Chinese script, the letters of the Latin alphabet we use, the finger sign of the mute, or the musical notes. Information and the 'message' that creates it is a 'measurable mathematical magnitude'. For example, if there are (a) signs in an alphabet and we create a message by repeating (L) of them, we can create N=aL different messages. If we have a two-sign alphabet and we use only one of them in our message, we can form N=21, that is, only two messages. Whereas, if we used both of the two signs in our message, it would be possible to give 22, that is, four, and if we used 3 signs, 23, that is, four messages.
As can be understood from our explanation above, there are two ways, two possibilities to increase the number of messages and the informative value of an information:
1- Increasing the signs of the alphabet constituting the message.
2- To reproduce the repetition of a sign in the message.
Now, if we compare this cybernetic methodology with Western music and Turkish music in terms of basic structure, we get the following result: Western music, or to put it more accurately, European music, was established according to the system called equal intervals and tamperaman. Here, an octave is divided into twelve equal intervals. While the eight basic sounds constitute the octave, the semitones that we express in the form of sharp and flat form also form the arız. Since there are 9 coma intervals among the basic sounds, half sounds or malfunctions are also located at 4 ½ coma intervals. However, since there is only 4 ½ coma in the Mi-Fa and Si-Do intervals, there is no half-tone, that is, malfunction. It can be seen that a one-octave scale thus includes 12 different sounds, that is, 12 signs. If we want to say it in the language of information theory, we can say that the alphabet of Western music has 12 letters.
The sign system of Turkish music was established on completely different principles. The main octave scale is distributed on a 53 coma scale, not 54 comas like Western music. This 53 coma distance is divided into 24 unequal parts, and these small intervals have gained the identity of a separate curtain, not a malfunction. Moreover, the number of voices is actually much more than 24. As a simple example, I would like to point out the difference between the Segâh sound in the Rast maqam and the Segâh sound in the Uşşak maqam.
If we consider the issue within the cybernetic formula mentioned above, we see that the value of an information increases in a geometric series in terms of the signs that make it up. In this way, it is possible to increase the information value in a musical sentence either by increasing the variety of signs or by increasing their repetition.
The fact that the basic signs, that is, pitches and voices, are essentially excessive in Turkish music, made it possible to provide "multicolor" in monophony, and thus "monophonic but polymodal Turkish music" (modal music) emerged. In Western or European music, the issue has been resolved by the repetition of a small number of signs in a musical sentence with various instruments. Thus, "polyphony" is a necessity for Western music, and an expression of confusion for Turkish music, considering that intervals are not equal.
Both musics are the product of different cultures. There is no reason why a person who enjoys one should not like the other, or even learn and practice it. As we mentioned at the beginning of our paper, although music genres change from society to society, basically music gains value as the common property of humanity.
In fact, I think it is inappropriate to compare Turkish and European music in this way. There is a point that all musicologists agree on today that there are only two major classical music systems in the world today: Classical Western Music or European Music and Classical Turkish Music. Other types of music can only go beyond being folklore music. If we liken polyphonic Western music to a sculpture, it is possible to compare monophonic-polyphonic Turkish music to a colorful mosaic spread over a surface. Both sculptures and mosaics are "beautiful" in their own aesthetics, but I think that it is futile to put them in this kind of comparison and to compare the system of one with the other.
Best regards, sir.
Edited by: Can Ceylan / 2002
www.turkmusikisi.net Articles/37

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