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POPULAR MUSIC      


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Cantos are considered to be the first popular western music. This type which developed as songs sung at lags between plays and acts of theatres in which performers improvise their lines after 1870 spread rapidly until occupation years.

The fact that domestic operettas began to be composed was a milestone in terms of the evolution and development of western music. The first domestic operetta was Leblebici Horhor composed by Dikran Cuhaevyan. When the operetta represented in 1876 January took great attraction it was followed by other performances. Cantos were translated into operetta songs. Western music, thus, had a new version which was more western in terms of popularity and which was becoming more polyphonic. The progress of western music began to change in the first years of 1900’s. These years were the last years of the Ottoman Empire. The war and the occupation showed its impact in social life and lead to stagnancy. The folk began to think of entertainment less. Saloon entertainments stepped in during these years. Tango which was a new type had rapidly developed since 1908.

Tango was easily nationalized in Turkey and artists who interpreted and composed tango emerged successively. Tango became more and more authentic in Turkey and experienced its golden age especially during the 60’s with the support of state radios.

Turkey got acquainted with jazz in 1920’s. Leon Avigdor, whose roots were Armenian, admired this music which he listened to in Europe and began to perform it in Turkey as well. He caused Istanbul to know jazz through various groups he formed till 1933. He trained many musicians in this field and opened the gates for them. The 1950’s were the years when western music except for jazz were very well known and established in Turkey. Orchestras formed after one another when Celal Ince was popular brought about many products ranging from mambo to cha-cha. These orchestras found places for themselves to work at night clubs which were opened after one another.

A rock’n roll orchestra was founded for students of Naval Academy in Istanbul in 1955. This was the beginning of a new term. Maybe it was the first time that a new western music was being performed simultaneously with the West. While the world was shaking with “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and The Comets, Turkey got acquainted with this music through Naval Academy Orchestra. Erol Buyukburc, who used to sing rock’n roll songs before and who composed in this type, was later interested in native music. Stone plaques were replaced by plaques with 45 turns in a minute which were more useful and which were more easily produced. The first plaque with 45 turns in a minute of western music in Turkey was produced by Baris Manco who was a student at Galatasaray High School at that time and his group “Harmoniler” in 1962.

At the beginning of the 1960’s, domestic compositions and arrangements were produced and Turkish words were written for popular foreign songs at the same time and these songs were played and sung “as if they were original”. The most important one of the songs produced at that time was “Bak Bir Varmis Bir Yokmus” which was formed by writing Turkish words to the song called “C'est Ecru Dans Le Ciel” by Fecri Ebcioglu, who was one of the disc jockeys of Istanbul Radio. The plaque with 45 turns in a minute of Tulay German “Burcak Tarlasi / Mecnunum Leylami Gordum” was sold a lot in 1964. This plaque with 45 turns in a minute was the first successful example of a type which would be called as Anatolian rock in the next years.
Popular music snowballed during 70’s and 80’s. Popular music was considerably produced as a consumption object. Similar to the fact that the increase in artistic products of popular culture and their becoming widespread in every section of the society were experienced concretely in industrial society in Europe, efforts for industrialization in our country and rapid urbanization depending on it has also created a popular cultural atmosphere peculiar to itself in the society. Fundamental values expected from artistic procedures by large masses where popular culture has been influential are components such as understanding them easily and perceiving them directly. This music type in 2000 began to response to musical ratings of almost entire society.