In Which Direction is Music Heading? Cultural and Cognitive Studies in Turkey
This book offers a range of trajectories of academic thought and musical practice in Turkey. It adopts a multidisciplinary approach, with chapters exploring the question posed by its title from the perspectives of ethnomusicology, historical musicology, neurology, psychology, social science, gender studies, acoustics, and linguistics.
Some studies are experimental and scientific in nature, ranging from a friends focus on tonality, using EEG to investigate differences in the cognitive responses of musicians and non-musicians listening to tonal and atonal chords, to an examination of brain activation in response to reverberation time differences resulting from room acoustics. Another essay assesses the psychometric properties and effectiveness of the new Turkish version of the Music Performance Anxiety Inventory for Adolescents (MPAI-A), designed to survey performance anxiety and determine its severity in adolescent musicians.
On a completely different tack, two studies investigate Turkey’s heavy metal scene. The first explores the social forces propelling the “moral panic” over Satanism and heavy metal, generated by the national press in response to a gory murder in the 1990s. Through field interviews, this study examines the impact of this on the public perception and stereotypes of metal fans, and its effects on the fans themselves. The second contribution examines gender codes within the global extreme metal scene, looking specifically at the barriers faced – and overcome – by female Turkish extreme metal musicians.
Setting Turkish music practices today in their historical context, a further contribution offers a critical appraisal of the mission to “contemporize” music, expounded (though ineffectually carried out) by the founding ideologies of Early Republican Turkey. A similar chapter discusses how even Anatolian folk music, when examined more closely, caused consternation, looking at the change in the Turkish state’s attitude towards the multicultural structure of Anatolia during the last decade.
The final article in this volume focuses on how Turkish musicians use the term “sound” – the English word, as borrowed in Turkish – to discuss elements of music. Beyond the physical meaning of the word, the essay explores the ways the word is used by musicians to describe the timbre of instruments, the production quality of recordings, the application of music technology, the aural aesthetics of an album, and the distinctive and unique elements of an artist's performance.
Firat Kutluk is a Professor of Musicology, and received his PhD on “Cultural Analysis of Popular Music in Turkey” in 1994. In addition to participating in various conferences, seminars and symposiums, he has presented a series of lectures on “New Music” and “Music and Politics”. Between 1991 and 2009, he made a number of music programmes for broadcast, and has published the books Music History (1997) and Music and Politics (1997). He is currently Director of the Graduate School of Fine Arts at Dokuz Eylul University and Principal of DABMER (Acoustic and Cognitive Musicology Research Centre).
Ugur Turkmen graduated from Uludag University’s Faculty of Education in 1993. He gained a Master’s degree from the Department of Music Education of Selcuk University in 1996. In 2005, he received his doctorate from Bolu Abant Izzet Baysal University’s Department of Music Education, before becoming an Associate Professor of Musicology in 2010. He is currently the Director of Afyon Kocatepe University State Conservatory.
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Ayhut Baris Cerezcioglu
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