This page provides links to articles that discuss composers featured in our publications or that our director Kathryn Woodard has researched and performed. In conjunction with the audio provided, they are intended as single class modules for instructors looking to expand their course offerings. Visit the Sheet Music page for a complete listing of our scores by Leyla Saz, Ulvi Cemal Erkin, Adnan Saygun and others.
Streaming audio of musical examples for each article can be found on the "Research Audio" page, or click here.
In light of the 2015 elections (June 7 and November 1) in Turkey and the recent coup attempt (July 2016), we provide some additional reading material below to support educators' discussions of democracy in Turkey. Here is the handout for Kathryn Woodard's presentation of ensemble scores at TODA for reference: TODA_Handout.pdf
Please feel free to Contact Us with any questions about introducing this material to your students
From the latest news cycle (July 2016):
"Music in the Ottoman Imperial Harem and The Life of Composer Leyla Saz" by Kathryn Woodard
Sheds light on the introduction of Western music to the Ottoman palace in the nineteenth century and on the access women had to education in the Imperial harem. Relies on the memoirs of Leyla Saz, a prominent composer of Ottoman music who was raised in the palace. Discusses two of her works, one in Ottoman song form and the other a Western march but with the use of Turkish modes. Audio examples are here. A chamber wind ensemble arrangement of the Victory March is available for purchase here. And check out the response from the U.S. Army Field Band on our blog page!
Archival photo of Leyla Saz at the piano (Istanbul)
Kathryn Woodard performs her piano arrangement of Saz's "Victory March"
We publish several arrangements of Saz's "Victory March."
Visit the Sheet Music page for a full list of our titles with links to purchase.
*For an important additional commentary about Saz's Victory March, please consult the blog (entry - July 25).
Whether discussing Leyla Saz's March from 1908, or Saygun's works from 1934 and later (see below), or performing U.C. Erkin's pieces from 1931, this interactive map is an excellent illustration of the transition that occurred in Turkey in the early twentieth century.
An additional resource is this 3-page introduction to Bela Bartok's folk music research in Turkey. Bartok-Turkish_Folk_Music_Research.pdf It describes how Bartok came to travel to Turkey in 1936 and the aims of his research. For samples from the field recordings click here (Scroll to 'Bartok:Turkish Folk Music')
For additional information about Ulvi Cemal Erkin, the composer of "Aegean Spring" who accompanied Bartok on his fieldwork trip, please visit www.ulvicemalerkin.com
"Music Mediating Politics in Turkey: The Case of Ahmed Adnan Saygun" CSSAAME-Saygun.pdf
Discusses Saygun's role as a cultural figurehead in Turkey and analyzes high-profile performances of two major works, Özsoy (an opera) and the Yunus Emre Oratorio (at the U.N. and Vatican), as a means for establishing political alliances for the Turkish Republic. Audio examples are here.
Archival photo of Bela Bartok & Adnan Saygun in Osmaniye (Turkey) on a fieldwork trip
Here also are three articles discussing the results of Turkey's June 7 election (2015), generally in order of reading difficulty.
The 'Nice Boy' Defeats Erdogan (RFE/RL)
5 Surprising Results of Turkey's Election (Hurriyet)
The Voters' Signal to Erdogan (Economist)
An excellent summary of the results of the November 1 election (2015) and its impact on tensions in the region, by Roger Cohen:
"Evoking Traditional Sounds Through Timbral Innovations: Works by John Cage, GE Gan-ru, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh and Kathryn Woodard" Spectral_lecture-_Evoking_Traditional_Sounds.pdf Sheet music for Spiritual Gathering available here.
A lecture-recital presented at the Spectral World Music Conference in Istanbul, 2003, and published in the conference proceedings, 2007. (Click here for information from the publisher.) Audio examples are preceded by the word "Spectral" on the Research Audio page.
"The Pianist's Body at Work: Sound and Meaning in Frederic Rzewski's Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues" Rzewski.pdf
Discusses Rzewski's varied settings of the industrial folk song and his interpretation of the song's lyrics through sound mimesis, specifically hand and forearm clusters, which evoke the sound of a cotton mill. This extended passage also provides a physical representation and identification with the song's lyrics on the part of the pianist - making him/her the protagonist of Rzewski's setting of the song. Audio examples (by Seeger and Rzewski) are here.
"Francis Hopkinson: The first American poet-composer and Our musical life in Colonial times" by Oscar G. Sonneck
Sonneck_essay.pdf (Ensemble and solo works by Francis Hopkinson available on the "Sheet Music" pages.)
This essay from 1919 is by noted American musicologist Oscar G. Sonneck for whom the Sonneck Society was named (now the Society for American Music). It was presented at a concert in Philadelphia, "Evening of Music from the Colonial Era." Not only is the essay informative for students on the subject of colonial-era music in America, but it also provides a glimpse of Sonneck’s methods and writing. He also provides an excellent assessment of Francis Hopkinson’s songs as a rationale for encouraging the study of his music. It's interesting that Sonneck only mentions Hopkinson's role as a "Signer" of the Declaration of Independence at the very end of the address, clearly assuming this would have been shared knowledge among all the attendees.