by Stefan Pohlit
Musical life in Turkey has been restructured by Western influences since the late Ot-toman era. The early Republican government introduced polyphonic music with the aim at creating a new cultural expression for a modern, democratic society, while the classical Otto-man tradition was officially marginalized. However, many Turkish composers of Western music of today have shown growing interest in the concepts of Ottoman music. The disruption of musical life in this country exemplifies how poorly Westernization and radical top-down transformation could serve the development of a genuinely modern awareness. Contents and meanings of Western art-music have merged into objectified statements rather than truly “helping” this society to evolve upon the intended proposals. Contemporary Western art mu-sic with its present increase in cross-cultural interaction is hereby faced with the neglected side-effects of its own radical postulations on the periphery of its zone of influence.