Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Terrific Terrifying Music

When we went to Istanbul, we went to the Military Museum to see the Mehter (Ottoman Janissary Band). The Janissaries were the private army of the Ottoman Sultans, and they included a military band whose job it was to help fire up the Ottoman troops, scare the daylights out of the enemy, and show newly-conquered peoples that their Sultan was the new boss. Though it is now pretty much just for show, the Mehter is the oldest military band in the world.

They do cut a pretty impressive figure as they march out.

The band plays lots of deep-sounding drums, the Turkish oboe known as a zurna, cymbals, and other instruments. The zurna and the deep drums give the band's music that characteristic "Turkish sound". Beethoven's "Ruins of Athens: Turkish March" echoes the "turning" march done by the Mehter in the video.

The Cannon and the Soldier

The band plays circled around the "Cannon of the Heroic Private Soldier Seyyid", built by the German Krupp factory for the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II to protect the Dardanelles. This cannon was built in 1889. Normally its heavy projectiles (276 Kg) would be loaded with a winch. At some point the winch was not available, so the Private Soldier named Seyyid carried the projectiles himself in a heroic effort. The statue next to the cannon in the two pictures below is of Seyyid.

Here you can see Seyyid peeking over the shoulders of the band.

In its various incarnations across multiple empires, Turkey has over a thousand years of military history, either as conquerors or conquerees. The splendidness of the Mehter, and of the museum as a whole, shows Turkey's pride in that history.


Katley said...

Hi, Sara,

I enjoyed your video on Turkish military bands very much.

Recently I posted something about the zurna and how it was brought over to Bulgaria by the Ottoman Turks.


Hope you don't mind me using it in my post, if there is an issue with that please let me know.


magaracaccavale said...

민주당이 정기국회 내 처리 방침을 세운 22대 민생입법과제 중 '7대 추진 민생 법안'에 양곡관리법 개정안 등이 포함된 만큼 여야 간 정책 주도권 싸움도 한층 치열해질 전망이다. 한남대가 올해를 ‘산학협력 중점의 해’로 선포하고 지역기업과의 동반성장을 위한 시동을 걸었다. 광고 및 욕설, 인신공격, 비하 표현이 들어있는 리뷰 작성으로 다른 회원님들로부터 포커 연이은 신고를 받으셨습니다. 이날 회의에서 김재정 회장은 "남은 임기동안 약대 6년제저지와 불법진료를 근절하는데 올인하겠다"는 표현을 통해 강한 의지를 피력했다. [배송공지]시드물에서는 빠른 배송을 위해 월요일 오전10시, 화~금 낮1시, 토요일 오전9시까지 입금 완료된 주문에 한해 당일 발송을 해드리고 있습니다.