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Information on the new music trend: Turkish arabesque

Just like any other genre of music, regardless of whether it is rock, blues, pop, hip-hop or classical, the Turkish arabesque was discovered by the music industry and increasingly commercialized as a new, modern music trend.

The Turkish arabesque offers much more than just oriental sounds combined with western pop music.

Here is all the information you need to know about the Turkish arabesque as a new music trend at a glance:


The roots of the arabesque

The term arabesque originally referred to oriental ornaments in the sense of decorations, for example in the form of Assyrian or Moorish tendril and leaf-shaped patterns. However, the roots of the arabesque as a musical genre have a different background.

In the 1940s and 1950s, many people fled to Istanbul from poor or politically troubled areas of Turkey. Whoever managed to drive four stakes into the ground during the night was allowed to keep the ground and build a house on it. This resulted in many thousands of improvised houses that were built without skilled construction workers or even architects.

First of all, it was important for people to have a roof over their heads quickly, so that later, as soon as they found work and earned an income, they could build a solid, beautiful house.

Arabesques in the sense of ornamental decorations initially played no role in the improvised dwellings, but arabesques emerged in a different form, namely as a musical genre. In the course of this genre, elements of Arabic and Turkish folk music were taken up and reinterpreted.


The Turkish arabesque as a genre of music

The Turkish arabesque can only be classified into a musical style to a limited extent, because the music is just as diverse and varied as the cultures, traditions and stories of the people who came to Istanbul from different regions. What all the songs have in common, however, is that the lyrics are characterized by similar content.

The Turkish arabesque is about unfulfilled love, everyday worries, disappointments, homesickness, the separation from familiar people and surroundings or poverty. Overall, the lyrics are sentimental and sad and while some speak from the soul and touch their hearts deeply, the others find the lyrics to be simply cheesy.

In some cases, the texts are rated as scary, destructive and even dangerous, which is due to the fact that they seem to approve of self-pity and immersion in pain, worries and sadness. In addition, there are always people who dance to Turkish arabesque in ecstasy and injure themselves in the process.


The meaning of Turkish arabesque

Turkish arabesque seems to be a genre of music that everyone associates with something different. Older people associate music with the past, when Arabic-language music was officially banned and people secretly listened to Cairo radio. Others refer to arabesque artists as traitors who use people's real worries and needs to commercialize them and thus gain money and fame.

Still others refer to the Turkish arabesque as the music of the minibus and taxi drivers, sometimes friendly and sometimes derogatory. There are also those who understand the Turkish arabesque as music through which political protest and revolt against oppression can be expressed, comparable to classical hip-hop.

In most cases today, however, Turkish arabesque is associated with a component of oriental pop music in which oriental and western sounds are mixed together.


The history of the Turkish arabesque and its artists

The Turkish arabesque was popularized in Turkey in the 1940s by artists such as Kaydar Tatlıyay known. Even the ban on Arabic-language music in public at the end of the 1940s did little to change the popularity of the music, because people received Radio Cairo and then listened to the music secretly in their own four walls.

In the mid-1960s, musicians worked like Ahment Sezgin, Abdullah Yuce or Hafiz BurhanSesiyilmaz Elements of traditional folk music in arabesque music. Later artists like Orhan Gencebay then elements of Anglo-American rock'n'roll in the music. Other well-known artists of the Turkish arabesque include musicians such as Muesli Gürses, Emrah, Mahsun Kırmızıgül, İbrahim Tatlıses and Ferdi Tayfur.

In Iran and other regions that are Persian-speaking regions, the arabesque is more clearly influenced by traditional Sufi music and in many cases the texts go back to poems by medieval Sufi poets. Well-known musicians of this direction belong Omid, Mehrdad, Hello, Cheb Khaled, Alabina, Amr Diab or the singers from Afghanistan Ostad Madadi and Amir Jaan Saboori.

Some of the musicians from Iran who are known in Europe and America also work Afshin and Arash with traditional arabesque music. The Persian underground rock band is also interesting in this context O-hum. This band combines Rumi or Hafes poems with traditional Persian-Arabic Sufi music and modern rock music. In Iran itself, the band is banned for this reason, but in the West they are enjoying increasing success.


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Topic: Information on the new music trend: Turkish arabesque