Analysis of Turkish Influences in Western Classical Music

12 December 2017

The Ottoman’s contribution to music has always been evident in the music we play or hear almost everyday. Be it Mozart, Beethoven.

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The Ottoman’s meter (meaning military band) influenced the start of the military and the marching band. They too, were the first to use the soldier’s marching beat in their music. Believe that the Ottomans have significantly influenced the music we listen to everyday, contributing to the All Truck form we are familiar with. In my paper, I will examine the contributions made by the Ottomans, their styles and how composers in particularMozart have interpreted it. The Ottomans formed an Empire, which lasted from 1299 to 1923. They traveled far and wide, controlling many territories that brought about the Empire’s downfall. Split into 29 provinces and numerous vassal states, it reached its height of power in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The sieges and battles of Vienna during the period of 1529 to 1683 played an Important role In the wars and In the spreading of the Ottoman music because Vienna was strategically located, and had interlocking control over southern Europe and the overland trade routes.Also, ruing the 18th century, Vienna was the capital of European music, serving as the home of composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven, who came to Vienna forming the “First Viennese School”, making the city very popular. The Turkish Influences In classical music were spread through the many wars that the Ottomans had. From the victories to celebration of treaties, the Ottoman showcased their music; mainly the meter music -which would take form in the first military and marching band- to the world.After many victories and defeats, negotiations and treaties, composers imitated the USIA and rhythm of the Meter band, Beethoven and Mozart use an Ottoman influenced style called All Truck. To celebrate the Treaty of Sartorial negotiated by Austria and the Ottoman Empire in 1697 after the battle of Santa, the Ottomans brought a Janissary band along with other performers for several days of performances. Slowly, people started imitating these performers, starting with the military bands.

Classical composers started to introduce the “All Truck” (meaning in the style of a Turkish march) Into their music. But the Viennese were not the first to use such a style in their music. According to the musicologist Henry George Farmer, “The credit for having introduced this battery of percussion and concussion into Europe usually goes to Poland which. In the sass, had received a full Turkish band from the Sultan. Russia, not to be outdone, sought a similar favor of the Sublime Porte (which is the name of the Sultan’s open court. In 1725, Prussia and Austria following suit, and by the sass most other countries had fallen under the sway of Janissary Music. ” Mozart, the following rhythm: Example 1 IS heard by the left hand part of the bass note.

It is also the rhythm of a soldier’s arching beat. The Janissary bands followed the army around in order to provide entertainment, and to boost morale amongst the people. The bands started using this rhythm in their music too. Another characteristic commonly found when emphasizing rhythm is the use of grace notes.Many melodic instruments in Turkish music used this technique in emphasizing rhythm. An example is Mozart violin concerto in A major, KAKA Rondo. An excerpt from Violin concerto no 5 in A major, K 219 by Mozart, Example 2 The excerpt from above shows both characteristics of Turkish music.

The oboes and urns are heard giving the marching beat of Example 1 (refer to page 4). Like these Mind instruments, the cellos and basses are giving a somewhat different rhythm by using only crotchets and rests (see bar 1 to 3), but are using grace notes to emphasize on the crotchet beats.The oboes and horns use only crotchets and minims but there’s an emphasis on the march with the use of dramatic dynamic changes (see bar 1 to 3). The Violin II and the Viola parts give the consistent quaver beats throughout the excerpt (with the exception of the last chord), and the soloist plays the melody using only quaver and crotchet beats. During the 18th and 19th centuries, “Turkish” music proved to be very popular, and piano manufacturers made pianos with a “Turkish stop”, which was also known as the “military stop”.It was a pedal that would either cause a bell to ring and/or cause a padded hammer to strike the soundboard to imitate the sound of a bass drum. In Rondo All Truck by Mozart, the pianist would hit on the pedal to give the rhythm seen in example 1 for emphasis on the marching rhythm.

However the innovation ceased to be used after the 19th century. According to Alfred Dolce, an industrialist, inventor and author who imported and manufactured piano materials, “The Janissary pedal, one of the best known of the early pedal devices, added all kinds of rattling noises to the normal piano performance.It could cause a drumstick to strike the underside of the soundboard, ring bells, shake a rattle, and even create the effect of a cymbal crash by hitting several bass strings with a strip of brass foil. ” ere meter band is an early military band. There are many styles that the meter perform in, and in one of the forms, ;never” the musicians stand in a crescent shape Ninth the who is also known as the master of meter standing in front. A meter concert starts with the sass (instruments), which is the instrumental part first before they start singing.After that, the also known as the main meter Gag ‘calls the by shouting “Vast-I s;our u sofa, hey, her (meaning “Attention it is time for happiness and fun”) the will then begin by shouting “Haydn Hay Allah” translating it would mean ‘Attention, march”.

The master of meter greets the public and announces the next piece after every piece is performed, and after all the pieces are performed; the of never, the meter can also perform while walking. While performing and walking, he stands in the front, with the meter standing behind.Starting with the right foot in front, the meter band greets the public by left and right every 3 steps (meaning if one starts on the left foot). Traditionally, the meter was composed of ‘cats’, which were dependent on the number of instruments. Each meter can be composed of 1 to 13 cats, of which the Pithead, the most royal title attainable has a meter of 13 cats. Each Kate is composed of a David (drum), a ensnare (a small kettledrum), a boor (horn), a Curran, a kГ¶s (a big drum) and 4 t;vegans (four times of the other sass).The meter band carries many different types of banners, each with its own color and distinctive meaning.

For example, the red banner is the symbol of Turkey, the green the symbol of Islam, and the white banner the symbol of Justice. ere meter band has many other symbols such as flags, which are the symbols of the government. Having fought and defeated many countries, the Ottomans themselves had taken over parts of Asia, Europe and Africa. Consisting of Muslims, Jews and even Christians, the Ottomans were open and were able to tolerate differences. However an advantage in one era may be a disadvantage in another.Having such a vast amount of land and citizens also made it difficult to protect the empire from internal and external political forces, causing unnecessary ethnic and religious hatred, which Mould ultimately destroy what they had created. With six centuries of dominance over such a large land, the Ottomans were rich in culture influenced by its many different states, influencing other cultures even outside the Ottoman’s territories.

Even though the word ‘Ottoman’ may not have any understanding to anyone who has not heard of the Ottomans, her contribution to society is evident.

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Analysis of Turkish Influences in Western Classical Music. (2017, Dec 20). Retrieved February 24, 2019, from
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