Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Musikwissenschaft

Utku Öğüt

Compositional Strategies in Contemporary Music from Turkey: Producing Through Hybridity, Mobility and Cultural Policies

The focus of this dissertation lies on the composers from Turkey gaining visibility in the European and North American contemporary art music circles during the last 30 years, who make use of traditional musical references from Turkey in their compositions. Although this compositional approach has been increasingly widespread since the initial attempts aiming at establishing Westernized art music through cultural politics of the early Turkish Republican Era, the strategies, procedures, and politics that are parallel to this approach have seen significant shifts until present. The constant fluctuations in international politics resulting from the rise of globalism have affected cultural policies during the last three-decades in such a way that they generated a diverse range of artistic responses concerning the use of traditional music references. As such, an existing discussion basis has become more crucial, through which the issues of institutional networks along with artistic individualization, agency, and mobility have become substantial issues regarding the impact of cultural policies. Hereby, I analyze this scope with a close examination on the biographies, statements and works of selected composers. Following this transdisciplinary approach, I focus on a method that consists of archival research, as well as case studies along with in-depth interviews and music analysis. With this theoretical and methodological framework, I aim to develop a thorough critical analysis concerning the political and cultural positionings of composers and question the underlying notion of "being a composer" in Turkey to the extent of its social connotations, self-constructions, and its role within the cultural agency. Consequently, my research aims to contribute to the existing literature as an example of a case-oriented analysis, addressing the transcultural context and dynamics of contemporary music as an agenda of cultural policies.



Elsa Neumann Fellowship (since April 2020)