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December 18, 2013

Turkish Music Meets Centennial

by Jiłah Maldonado

Centennial’s Band Director and Guitar Teacher Michael Allen gave his students a great opportunity (funded by the American Turkish Society) to learn about the culture and music of Turkey. Tufan Sevim, a musician from Turkey, is in America receiving his masters degree in business and was asked to teach students about his country and its music. To begin the class, Sevim began by presenting a brief PowerPoint about the history of Turkey and the city that he is from. It was nice how he introduced himself because it gave the students a chance to learn about a culture that many are completely unfamiliar with.

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After Sevim’s introduction, he began to play what is called a Saz. Most people would compare it to the guitar as we all know, but it in fact is quite different. The Saz has notes that cannot even be found on the guitar and for all of those that do not understand the technical parts of the instrument and the theory behind music, it simply has more notes. The added notes give the Saz a unique sound that separates the western music in our culture from that of the music in Turkey and other places around the world.

The most thrilling part of the class had to be when Sevim and Allen both improvised together. As Allen played a basic chord progression on the guitar, it was really exciting to see Sevim solo over it. He made playing seem as easy as walking and never missed a single note. Experiencing such diverse and interesting music from such a wonderful musician was something that Centennial’s music program should forever be grateful for.

For all of those that are interested in seeing Sevim play with other Turkish musicians, he will be back next semester to perform. There will be an updated article including the date and where the performance will held next semester as well.

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