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The Psalms and the Folk Songs of a Mystic Turkish Order (with CD)

Sipos, János and Csáki, Éva (2004) The Psalms and the Folk Songs of a Mystic Turkish Order (with CD). Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest. ISBN 963-05-8105-1

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Abstract

János Sipos – Éva Csáki, The Psalms and Folk Songs of a Mystic Turkish Order - The Music of Bektashis in Thrace The subject-matter of our book is the psalms and folk song of an Islamic mystic community, the Bektashis of Thrace, the European part of Turkey. Most of the music of Bektashi religious communities is unresearched so far, although their deep respect for traditions, the salient role of music among them and the preservation of pre-Islam customs all indicate that it is worth seeking for traces of the musical culture of ancient Turkic layers among them. Turkish researches into this field have only recently begun, which owes in part to the tension between the majority Sunni and minority Alevi-Bektashi religion and traditions (also embraced by the Kurds, to boot). Between 1999 and 2003 we video-recorded over 900 tunes in 24 Thracian villages from 150 Bektashi men and women. By the end of the fieldwork we felt we had attained our goal: we had recorded the overwhelming majority of their religious hymns and also several of their folk songs. This material seemed sufficient enough to present the musical culture of the community. It was not our job to provide an up-to-date summary of the history of the Bektashi order, but it appeared indispensable to present the most widely accepted variants. Following a brief introduction into Sufi ideas, thoughts will be cited from a book attributed to Haci Bektas Veli and a book by Kaygusuz Abdal dervish. The aim is to bring the reader closer to mystic Islamic thinking and the texts of the religious hymns. The book has several novelties. First of all, there is hardly a study, let alone a book, on folk hymns of the peoples of Turkey. There is none that is devoted to the systematic presentation of the music of a community or region, comparing Turkish folk and religious tunes and interpreting them in a broader context. It is clear however that folk religions preserve a lot of elements of pre-Islam Turkish culture and hence their research is of prime importance for an understanding of Turkish identity, Turkish ethnic and cultural genesis. A broad comparison involving several peoples allows us to establish whether a musical feature is a general or a specific phenomenon. It is also a novelty that hundreds of folk song texts and the sung poems by Bektashi poets are given together with their English translation. Reading the texts one can get an insight into the everyday thought and religious principles of the community. A glossary is also appended to explain special expressions and concepts. All the tunes in the volume were recorded and transcribed by us, thus they are from first-hand experience, and their authenticity is unquestionable. The collection allows us also to present the most typical tunes in audio variants on the CD attached to the book.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation / földrajz, antropológia, kikapcsolódás > GR Folklore / etnológia, folklór, kulturális antropológia
M Music and Books on Music / zene, szövegkönyvek, kották > M1 Music / zene
Depositing User: Dr. János Sipos
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2014 10:51
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2016 23:15
URI: http://real.mtak.hu/id/eprint/9647

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