We Commemorated Tamburi Cemil Bey On His 100th Death Anniversary in Our University
Dec 16, 2016

We commemorated Tamburi Cemil Bey, who contributed to the perfection of Turkish Music by coming up with a modern style and an innovative interpretation of saz, in Turkish Music State Conservatory (ITU TMDK) upon his 100th death anniversary.

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In a seminar named "Vefatının 100.Yılında Tamburi Cemil Bey Hazinesi"(Tamburi Cemil Bey’s Treasure in His 100th Death Anniversary) which is organized by Department of Instrument Training in our Conservatory, the artist's contributions to Turkish Music have been discussed and his works of art have been reminded with a special concert. Preparing the content of the program, our lecturer Mehmet Bitmez from ITU TMDK participated to the event held in ITU TMDK Scientific and Artistic Events Organizing Committee (BİSED) Hall on December 14th. Stating that Turkish music spread from ear to ear for centuries, Bitmez drew attention the fact that it is possible to have a closer look at the art heritage left by Tamburi Cemil Bey and many great artists since the emergence of voice recording technology and particularly proliferation of gramophone.

Mehmet Bitmez: "His fame spread abroad with the invention of the gramophone."

With the impact of the gramophone being extensively used, Bitmez claimed that Tamburi Cemil Bey's fame spread abroad. The secret of the artist underlying his success is Western music based upon traditional understanding and the reflection of Ottoman Folk Music characteristics on his compositions. Our lecturer also added that great changes in both Ottoman Empire and the westernization process developed Turkish music making the impact of Western music clearly visible on Tamburi Cemil Bey's tambur, lute, and cello performance.

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Beşir Ayvazoğlu, another speaker in the seminar, mentioned about his book on Tamburi Cemil Bey's biography. Stating that he was introduced to Tamburi Cemil Bey through Yahya Kemal Beyatlı's book, the author also added that there is a relationship between literature and music. Evaluating the books he has read about the topic and Yahya Kemal Beyatlı's perspective together, Ayvazoğlu claimed to understand that he was "the most concise voice of Istanbul" and added: "I first read his biography from a book, which I found in a bookshop, written by his son." Tamburi Cemil Bey was not just a performer and composer but also a good word master. Despite living between the years 1873-1916 which was an era of war, he never made a concession from his understanding of art."

"Tamburi Cemil Bey as a whole is a work of art."

One of the guests of the event, Birol Yayla, who is a Tambur Artist in Presidential Classical Turkish Music Choir, stated in his presentation about Tamburi Cemil Bey that the artist's music style can be based on two main pillars: his performance and compositions. Yayla also added: "Tamburi Cemil Bey's art does not only consist of his talent. His compositions are like manifestos. He paved the way with a detached instrument and Tamburi Cemil Bey's works form the basis of current saz works repertoire. Tamburi Cemil Bey is a character who is able to influence his audience with or without instruments and saz. The artist as a whole should be considered as a work of art. When we approach the issue from this perspective, we can understand it completely."

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The second part of the event includes the presentations: “Tamburi Cemil Bey Kayıtlarından Kemençede Üslup çalışma Yöntemleri”(Kemençe Style Training Methods in Tamburi Cemil Bey’s Records) by Assistant Professor Aslıhan Eruzun Özel from Yıldız Technical University Art and Design Faculty, "Cemil Bey’in Tambur, Kemençe ve Lavta Tekniklerine ve Üsluplarına Getirdiği Yenilikler" (Tamburi Cemil Bey’s Innovations on Tambur, Kemençe, and Lute Techniques and Methods) by TRT Istanbul Radio Kemençe Artist Fikret Karakaya, "Cemil Bey Dönemi Üslubu" (Style of Cemil Bey’s Period) by Lecturer Özer Özel from Yıldız Technical University Art and Design Faculty, "Kemençenin İzinden"(Tracing Kemençe) by Fine Arts Turkish Music Research and Application Community Kemençe Artist Furkan Bilgi. The last part of the seminar includes the presentations "Orfeon Record Tamburi Cemil Bey Tarafından"(Choir Record by Tamburi Cemil Bey) by Associated Professor Neva Özgen in our Conservatory Instrument Training Department, "Tamburi Cemil Bey’in Viyolonsel Taksimleri"(Tamburi Cemil Bey’s Cello Improvizations) by Associated professor Yelda Özgen Öztürk from the same department, and "Tamburun Mîladı Cemil Bey'e Dair"(Regarding Cemil Bey, The Beginning of Tambur) by Presidential Classical Turkish Music Choir Tambur Artist Murat Aydemir.

Commemoration event ended with a concert consisting of Tamburi Cemil Bey's works.