Biography of the Turkish Composer Ahmed Adnan Saygun and a Discussion of His Violin Works

Price:$139.95 + shipping
(Click the PayPal button to buy)
Adnan Saygun, one of the leading composers of the Turkish Five, was a serious ethnomusicologist who led the fieldwork in gathering folk material, and collaborated with the prominent musicological researcher and composer Béla Bartók. Saygun's music is published and recorded and performed internationally. After a biography, this study uses Saygun's violin music to discuss his practice of utilizing Turkish folk elements in Turkish classical music. It thus provides the non-Turkish performer with an understanding of the performance practice of the authentic Turkish folk idiom in Saygun's original compositions and Turkish classical music. A list of Saygun's works (revised by the composer) and a discography follow.


With a focus on Saygun's works for the violin, the author prepares non-Turkish and Turkish performers for a more informed, and ultimately stylistically correct reading of that repertoire by exposing them in detail to regional folk instruments and performance practice and related regional modes, rhythms, and stereotyped phrases as utilized in several compositions&.Giray's rehearsal notes are invaluable as guidelines for both violinists and pianists who have the desire to infuse their interpretation of Saygun's music with regional nuances and spirit. The annotated list of Sayguns works and discography will also be useful tools as they are listed chronologically according to the dates of translation. The book is an exciting new addition to literature that involves solid approaches to the interpretation of Western-influenced musical repertoire created by borrowings from traditional music culture." - Dr. Irene Markoff, York University, Toronto

"I learned much about Turkish music and about Ahmed Saygun, a significant Turkish composer and musicologist. Giray does an admirable job of explaining Turkish modes, the horon, and the kemence&. This is a must read for music historians and composers the world over." - Dr. John Boyle, Jr., Interlochen Arts Academy

"Ahmed Adnan Saygun is a hallmark in Turkish music as a pioneer in polyphonic composition, an ethnomusicologist and an instructor. For forty years he produced music of all kinds in a steady flow. His works consist of five symphonies; four operas; the famous Yunus Emre Oratorio; concertos (two for piano, violin, viola and cello); various orchestral, chamber music and vocal music.Saygun's studies on pre-modal and modal music have illuminated polyphonic compositions in Turkey. Selim Giray made a meticulous survey of the violin works of Saygun. This work is a valuable musicological contribution to the history of modern Turkish music as well as to the modern voice of the 20th century." - Evin 0lyasolu, Bogazici University, Istanbul

"Giray's study not only provides important information about Saygun's biography but also corrects some misconceptions that have been blindly accepted in the Bartók literature; thus, this is a volume that fills a conspicuous gap in previous scholarship. Giray's writing is professional, scholarly, and effective in communicating its point.Comments anent Saygun's musical compositions are insightful, and the suggestions that Giray offers for interpretation and performance seem reasonable and effective. I should think that anyone performing Saygun's works (whether for the violin or otherwise) would want to consult Giray's study for ideas and information." - Mark Radice, Ithaca College, School of Music

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Preface; Foreword; Introduction
1. Saygun's Biography
2. Saygun's Harmonic and Melodic Vocabulary: Modes
3. A Discussion of the Folk Elements Found in Saygun's Violin Works
4. A Discussion of Sayguns Suite for Violin and Piano
5. An Annotated List of Sayguns Works and a Discography
Appendix: A Guide to Turkish Pronunciation
Bibliography; Index

Other Music-Specific Composer(s) Books