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Çengi music and Turkish Gypsy Music

  1. Uzun köprü oyun 3:12
  2. Gelibolu romen oyun 4:01 listen to part 2
  3. Mastika 3:14 [well known turkish gypsy song]
  4. Edirne sabah romen (in the sabah tone scale) 3:05
  5. Arnavut oyun 3:04
  6. Selanik sirtosu 3:39
  7. Rumeli karsjilama (Turkish Balkan) 3:35
  8. Garip roman 2:47
  9. Kelle 3:15
  10. Trakya çifte telli (çifte means double) 3:41
  11. Sazan 3:28
  12. Burgaz oyun 3:22

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Gypsy music:

Gypsies specialized in in their own distinct musical domain as well as performing various Turkish music genres. Some forms of Turkish entertainment music such as the tavsanca and kocekce were designed to accompany turkish folk dances.
Köçek(1), tavsan and çengi(2) groups had singers, players and dancers of both sexes. Gypsy groups composed of two to seven musicians playing instruments such as clarinet, violin, cumbus (3), oud, darrabouka and in the Balkan cymbalon, perform for bachsjeez (tips) in cafes. Bellydancers in Sulukule, a district of Istanbul, are often accompanied by a gypsy combo. More sophisticated ensembles incorporate also qanoun and ney and play at nightclubs and private parties. Gypsy violinists, kanun players and clarinetists are widely renowned for their expressive taqsiems(4). Kemençe was frequently used in the performances of Tavsanca(5) as melodic and rhytmic intstrument.
Çengi dancers performed at the Ottoman court as well. Male çengi dressed up as women danced in the harem as well as their female counterparts. So çengi referred to male and female dancers.
The melodies of folk songs (köcekces, tavsancas and Rumeli turkuleri) were composed in the scales and melodic progressions of the classical maqam system. Rhythms varied from the classical aksak semai (10/4 beat), yürük semai (6/4 beat) to aksaq (9/8 beat a.k.a. karsjillama), türk aksagi (5/4 beat) and Devre Hindi (7/8 beat). Since many of these songs where highly appreciated at the Ottoman court and later by turkish classical music circles they became included in the programs of classical music concerts to bring some variety. Composers of Fasil, classical turkish music, wrote also light tunes in the kocekce and tavsanca forms.
  1. Köçek: pronounced ketchek.
    Köçekçe: the most rhythmic and interesting forms of Turkish classical music. In this form of music, vocal and non-vocal musical pieces have been used as elements of dancing. Köçekçeler sometimes become fast and sometimes not in rhythm. The male dancers are called Köçek and the female ones Çengi.
    Dances who were clad in special garments were generally selected among the non-Muslim groups of people.
    Köçekçeler most of which are long-forgotten today, were composed in modal tones such as Hicaz, Gerdaniye, Karcigar (9/8 beat), Hüzzam, Hicazkar and Mahur.
    The performance of Köçekçeler was realised by the instruments such as clarinet, kemençe,kaval (6) (fequently used in egypt and bulgaria and in some regions called Guval or gaval), oud, tamburine and sometimes zurna and nakkarat (a pair of small flat drums). These were called "kaba saz" team of musical instruments.
  2. çengi: pronounced tsjengui
  3. Cumbus: pron. djumbus, a sort of banjo without frets
  4. Taqsiem, takasim or taksims: improvisations
  5. Tavsanca: melodies performed by the Tavsan boys or the Tavsan girls and they resembled Köçekçeler. They were composed rather in "Semai" rhythms though short rhythms were also practiced.
  6. Kavalkaval
    The kaval is along end blown flute found in the Balkans - especially in Bulmgaria - but also in Egypt. In some regions it is called Guval or Kuval. The long form makes it difficult to play, but the sound is natural and mystic. Cause kavals are not subordinate to any standards different regional handiworks can result in different types of kavals. They differ in size between 30-80 cm lenght. In general they have 7 melody keys on the front and 1 underneath. Beside that, the 4 other holes at the lower section of the instrument called Seytan Deligi (Hole of Satan) and Hazreti Ali.
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