Galata Mevlevi

Music of Islam, Vol. 9: Mawlawiyah Music of the Whirling Dervishes

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Part of the generally well-done series from Celestial Harmonies dealing with the musics of various groups in the Islamic spectrum. This album deals specifically with the Turkish Sufi mystics (whirling dervishes) who use the music in general as part of a ceremony of ecstatic motion (known as a "sema"). The first six tracks comprise the whole of a sema ceremony, or at least a short form of it. The music is primarily ritual, but is also wonderfully aesthetic at the same time. Of course, there is something missing without the visuals that are really needed to convey the ceremony (the dancing), but still, the hypnotic melodies are enough to please the average listener (with some background). Also included are two instrumental improvisations to showcase the secular musical ability of the troupe as well. For a nice look into the sounds of the Sufis, this isn't a bad place to start. Thorough liner notes also add an extra sheen to the package.

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