Ali Ekber

Turkey: Bektashi Music-Ashik Songs

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One of the last remaining ashiq traditions outside of Azerbaijan, the Bektashi line of Turkey claims a heritage from the Bektashi sect of Sufism (that is, that sect not founded by Rumi). The ashiqs hold a similar post in Turkey as those in Azerbaijan: poet-musicians, often traveling along the lines of a bard. The music as well is somewhat similar, with the focus on poetic singing, often of a love lost, or a more intimate mystical love with God. The instrumental accompaniment tends to be relatively sparse, essentially just the saz being played by the singer in general. The singing is the key here, as it is in the Azeri music. The lyrics are heartfelt. Though less soul-rending as its counterpart, the Bektashi variety of ashiq song still has some emotion packed into it. Worth a listen for those interested in non-Rumi-based Sufism, or for those already acquainted with Azeri ashiq song.

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