Music of Turkey  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The music of Turkey includes diverse elements ranging from Central Asian folk music and music from Ottoman Empire dominions such as Persian music, Balkan music and Byzantine music, as well as more modern European and American popular music influences. In turn, it has influenced these cultures through the Ottoman Empire. Turkey is a country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, and is a crossroad of cultures from across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus and South and Central Asia.

The roots of traditional music in Turkey spans across centuries to a time when the Seljuk Turks colonized Anatolia and Persia in the 11th century and contains elements of both Turkic and pre-Turkic influences. Much of its modern popular music can trace its roots to the emergence in the early 1930s drive for Westernization.

With the assimilation of immigrants from various regions the diversity of musical genres and musical instrumentation also expanded. Turkey has also seen documented folk music and recorded popular music produced in the ethnic styles of Armenian, Greek, Polish, Azeri and Jewish communities, among others. Many Turkish cities and towns have vibrant local music scenes which, in turn, support a number of regional musical styles.

Despite this however, western-style pop music lost popularity to arabesque in the late 70s and 80s, with even its greatest proponents Ajda Pekkan and Sezen Aksu falling in status. It became popular again by the beginning of the 1990s, as a result of an opening economy and society. With the support of Aksu, the resurging popularity of pop music gave rise to several international Turkish pop stars such as Tarkan and Sertab Erener. The late 1990s also saw an emergence of underground music producing alternative Turkish rock, electronica, hip-hop, rap and dance music in opposition to the mainstream corporate pop and arabesque genres, which many believe have become too commercial.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Music of Turkey" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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