I will try to summarize my ideas enlightened by the information, which I have
referred to you under the title of memories of Atatürk and especially by
Atatürk’s music understanding.
One of intellectuals, Mr. Jansenhas said:
“Beside helping to implement the esthetic emotion, the moral forces and the
influences of the music, how great this task be, there is an obligation to form
the music so that the people could be made to to understand and benefit from
The reality of those words is to hold the music as widespread material to
educate the people, which will help them to reach a higher cultural level.
Iti is an obvious reality, the synthesis of human communities and nations
have been observed within the elements consisted in the specialities of the
Nations basically language, history, all sorts of art, emotion, thought.
Atatürk deeply felt this with a broad understanding. He emphasized the
necessity of having music directed to the west. But this must be done under the
condition of protecting it’s own national common character.
It is also a reality that art, in all branches, wants to tell of Man and
nature. In other words wants to benefit by the sounds, colours, shapes, figures,
and designs in the original concept of nature.
Music, including the important elements such sound, rhythm, melody,
composition, reflects additionally Man’s world of thought and emotion. Art has
to adopted to changes, developments and innovations benefiting from culture.
In other words, innovations, changes have taken place in the culture due to
art. And this is more meaningful for music than for the other art branches.
That must be the way that is pointed out and showed by Atatürk’s “being the
measure of the new changes in music” according to us.
Atatürk had definitely emphasized that the efforts directed towards the West
should not be an imitation of the West.
If Atatürk were alive to hear the degenerated bad actions to the Turkish
voice by confusing it with the current West light music, he would say words
harsher than the words he spoke in Sarayburnu, perhaps rightly so...
Atatürk knew the history, culture, temper and habits, morals, and special
character of the Turkish Nation very well. He had accepted the examples in
science, technical fields from the West. That Nation has got a history and
tradition in culture and art.
He had showed his greatness by listening to opinions and thoughts when he was
presenting the solutions to elevate Turkish music to a higher level.
Therefore he had listened patiently to Dr. Şükrü Şenozan’s remarks, described
as a conference, in this respect and said he had benefit from them. According to
this, Turkish music must be polyphone; there must be harmony in it. But how will
it be done? The only solution was to play polyphonic music accordance with the
tone and living culture structure of Turkish music.
The convenient intervals (quart, quint, and octave) of folk music can be
The main principles proposed by Dr. Şükrü Şenozan are aproximately these:
The important thing is to preseve the monumental works of Turkish music
without altering them. And to preserve them in their own artistic delicacy,
style, and main values.
To incorporate polyphone elements in Turkish music’s own concept, to make
arrangements that would not be strange be strange to Turkish people. Technical
possibilities are to be used concerning the form.
That means our music has a living cultural structure and an artistic
delicacy. We have to work directing the new changes by using the convenient
possibilities in its own concept. Otherwise the disorder in our music will
continuously go on.
It can be useful to appraise the opinions of the foreign scientists and
“It is difficult to find emotion to give the changing melody and delicacy,
and the air of the music in the parts (In Turkish Music Parts). It has a
performance style starting and ending with the same sound tone. That shows the
deficiency of the artistic vision of Turkish singers.”
This opinion is basically appropriate. Performance style has to be in
accordance with Turkish folklore music including the figures of nature. However,
this has not been done, therefore the diagnosis of foreign opinions gains
Let us remember Atatürk’s words: ”The culture of a nation is speaking from
the breast of this little instrument. We must not forget to adjust the level of
culture and art activities of the nation to the civilised world itself.
The melodies coming from this instrument must be improved and implemented in
this direction. The importance should be given in implementation and improvement
of the melodies coming from this instrument.”
The path is the path Atatürk has shown us. Atatürk enlightened us. There are
many things to do.
The works have to be done to introduce polyphony to Turkish music, with the
western techniques and styles in accordance with harmony.
Atatürk loved Turkish music. But he did not say it had to stay still. He
never said that. He believed the music could be the measure of the new changes.
And great Atatürk had knew that this work could not be done by the experiments
destroying the national concept, national character, and national moral values.
He was against of these kinds of attempts.
Atatürk pointed out that widespread educational materials as radio,
television and recorder had to be elevated to a higher level. By this way they
could be able to determine the music.
Improved comprehension and culture are needed to perceive the high western
arts. It is the responsibility of the government to prepare this environment.
Moreover, the government must save the music from the degeneration in the music
market and must remedy the lack of quality.
The main sources for innovation of the music are the classical Turkish Folk