17th Century can be evaluated as the most successful century of Turkish Traditional Music. The works on music like “Güfte mecmuası”, “Atrabü’l Âsâr”, “Seyahatname”, “Mecmua-i Saz ü Söz” and “Kitâbu ‘İlmi’l-Mûsikî ‘alâ vechi’l Hurûfât” written by Hafız Post, Şeyhülislam Esad Efendi, Evliya Çelebi, Ali Ufkî Bey and Dimitrie Cantemir respectiveley in this era are each worth a fortune. Every study to be done regarding this era has to rest under the shadow of these works.
Buhûrîzâde Mustafa Itri (1640?-1712) and Hafız Post (1630?-1694), Itri’s mentor and the author of the lyric magazine, lived during the same era and left their marks in history by producing works of great appreciation.
Ali Ufkî Bey, a man of Polish origin who was captured by the Tatars and sold to Turks, had been raised as the son of a well established family and thanks to this education he reached a competence to produce his works which we remember gratefully today. His works aren’t only on music. He also has manuscripts on literature and religion. He could write these works thanks to the several languages he could speak. However, as is known to all, his most valuable work regarding music is the manuscript called “Mecmûa-i Saz ü Söz” (MSS). This manuscript (British Museum) dated to the year 1645 is very valuable for 17th Century with its 544 works in 23 makâms.
Dimitrie Cantemir (1673-1723) left 345 invaluable works composed in 48 makâms in his manuscript called “Kitâbu ‘İlmi’l-Mûsikî ‘alâ vechi’l Hurûfât” (KİM).
The boundless foresight of these two European music geniuses made it possible to compare the 17th Century works to the ones in the current TRT Repertoire of Instrumental and Vocal Works. The conclusions that we’ve driven from the studies which we performed can be listed as below:
- The most favoured makâm of the 17th Century was Hüseyni with the percentage of 15. Nevâ was the second and Rast was the third.
- There is one work in each of the following makâms: Dügâh, Acem Aşîrânı, Hûzî Aşîrânı, Selmek, Baba Tâhir, Segâh-Beste-Nigâr, Zîr-efkend, Şûrî, Sultânî-Irâk, Zengûle, Mâye, Uşşâk Aşîrânı, Necd Hüseynî, Büzürk, Sipihr, Acem Yegâhı, Nevrûz and Tahir.
- Hicâz, which is the most commonly used makâm today couldn’t even make it to top ten in the 17th Century resources.
- Although Nihâvend is the second commonly used makâm today, it was the 24th in 17th Century.
- Hüzzâm, the third commonly used makâm today, was the 47th in 17th Century as one of the least favoured makâms.
- There is an increase in the use of Râst and Hüseynî regressed to the 7th place not being able to protect its popularity.
- The makâms Hicâz, Hüzzâm, Nihâvend, Nikrîz, Râst and Uşşâk had an increase in usage from 17th Century till today.
- Hicâz , from %1,51 to %10,57: 7 times
- Hüzzâm, from %0,04 to %6,25: 156 times
- Nihâvend, from %0.90 to %10,08: 11,2 times
- Nikriz, from %0,85 to % 1,29: 1,5 times
- Rast, from %4,39 to %5,80: 1,32 times
- Uşşak, from %4,15 to %5,19: 1, 25 times
- The makâms Acem, Arazbâr, Bayâtî, Çârgâh, Evc, Hisâr, Hüseynî, Irâk, Kürdî, Muhayyer, Nevâ, Nişâbûr, Pencgâh, Rehâvî, Sabâ, Segâh, Uzzâl had a decrease in usage from 17th Century till today.
- Irak, from %4,95 to %0,22: 22,5 times
- Arazbar, from %1,51 to %0,18: 8,5 times
- Bayati, from %5,43 % 1,33: 4 times
- Çargah, from %0,66 to %0,18: 3,5 times
- Evc, from %4,25 to %1,23: 3,5 times
- Hisar, from %1,55 to %0,18: 8,5 times
- Hüseynî, from %14,70 to %4,07: ~3,5 times
- The makâms Acem Aşîrân, Bestenigâr, Bûselik, Gerdâniye, Isfahân, Mâhûr, Şehnâz exist as the same rate they did in 17th Century.
- The makâms which are unpopular in both ages are as follows:
Acem Bûselik, Aşîrân Bûselik, Beste Isfahân, Bûselik Aşîrân, Evc Hûzî, Gerdâniye Bûselik, Geveşt, Hicâz-ı Muhâlif, Hisârek, Horasânî Hüseynî, Hûzî, Hûzî Aşîrânı, Hûzî Bûselik, Irâk-ı Muhâlif, Kûçek, Kûçek Sünbüle, Mâye, Muaşşer, Muhâlifek, Muhayyer Bûselik, Mûsikâr, Müberka’a, Necd Hüseynî, Nühüft, Rû-yi Irâk, Sâzkâr, Sünbüle.
- The 17th Century makâms Acem Yegâhı, Arazbâr Aşîrân, Aşîrân, Aşîrân Bûselik, Baba Tâhir, Bayâtî Hisâr, Çârgâh-ı Acem, Dügâh Hüseynî, Haşîrâk, Hisârek, Horasânî Hüseynî, Hümâyûn, Hûzî Aşîrânı, Hûzî Bûselik, Kûçek Sünbüle, Muaşşer, Mûsikâr, Necd Hüseynî, Nevâ-yı Acem, Nevâ Aşîrânı, Nevâî Uşşâk, Nevâ Sünbüle, Nevrûz-ı Acem, Nevrûz Uşşâk, Nihâvend-i Sagîr, Rekb, Rûhefzâ, Segâh-Beste-Nigâr, Sultânî Nevâ, Sünbüle, Şeşgâh, Şeşağâz, Şirâz ve Sünbüle, Şukûfezâr, Şûregen, Urbân, Uşşâk Aşîrânı, Vech-i Hüseynî, Yegâh Şehnâz, Zemzeme, Zengûle, Zengûle-Şehnâz, Zirgüle, Zîrkeşîde don’t exist even in theory today.
In the light of the statistical data that we’ve presented it is clear that the use of makâms changed immensely. The evaluation of the parameters that created the reasons of these changes requires a detailed assessment which will exceed the time limits of this presentation.
However, it needs to be taken into consideration that this change is not unique to the makâms and that the works of some composers who lived in the same age which we perform in great appreciation today have no resemblance in terms of melodic texture with the works that were recorded by Ali Ufkî Bey and Dimitrie Cantemir.
Although, the works recorded by Ali Ufkî Bey and Dimitrie Cantemir prove very useful in making a statistical comparison with the currently used makâms, the fact that they bring along a really interesting disadvantage is an issue to be considered. It is known that meşk system had its benefits along with its disadvantages. A learning method which favours the memory and increases the function of the ears without using the function of the eyes enhances the quality of the performance in terms of perde (pitch) clearness.
As it is inevitable that there are subtractions and additions to the works which are acquired through meşk, the works which haven’t been recorded and exist through meşk change in time with the ornaments and figures proper to the understanding of the time. Even though it is inevitable, given the past 350 years, it won’t be an exaggeration to expect this change to reach such an extent that it will erase the similarities of the work with its original condition.
It is possible to see this in the works of Itri and Hafız Post, the contemporaries of Dimitrie Cantemir. As there aren’t any current versions of the works that had been recorded by Ali Ufkî Bey and Dimitrie Cantemir it is impossible to make a one-to-one comparison of these works. Nevertheless; no similarities were found when compared to their contemporaries. The modulations and alterations are surprisingly different next to the differences in the use of usûls and makâms. That is to say, non of the wonders in the works of Hafız Post exist in the works of Ali Ufkî and Dimitrie Cantemir.
While Ali Ufkî Bey and Dimitrie Cantemir’s works provide information on 17th Century, the idea that each transmission of a work from the master to the apprentice revised it and accorded it with the era causes the creation of the wonders in the works of Itrî. From this point of view, I guess you will share my worries that Itrî or Hafız Post would find it hard to recognize their works performed today.
The authors of two essential works for Turkish music, Ali Ufkî Bey and Dimitrie Cantemir who made it possible to see the change in makâm, usûl and melodic texture from 17th Century till now will be remembered for millenniums.
I remember them with respect and gratitude at this occasion with Ali Ufkî Bey’s prayer in the following stanza:
This book is like my son, the whole gain of my life Ömrümün hasılı oğlum gibidir iş bu kitap
I am afraid that it will pass on to ignorant hands when I die Korkarın ben ölücek cahil ü nadana düşe
My only wish from your greatness is that İzzetin hakkıçün senden şunu umarım ya Rab
It falls in the hands of the ones who will remember it with goodness. Hayrile yadeden sahib-i yarane düşe