Migration, Memory, and Musical Expression

Musical Traditions from Central Eastern Anatoliain Turkey, Berlin, and Paris

Principal Investigator: Dr. habil. Martin Greve

Researcher: Dr. Dilek Soileau Kızıldağ

Duration: December 2020 – November 2022

The DFG-funded research project “Migration, Memory and Musical Expression” focuses on music traditions in central eastern Anatolia and their changes during the past decades. Beyond this concrete aim, however, it is intended as a pioneering study on music in Anatolia in general: On the one hand, it aims to question the relevance of ethnic categories for music. On the other hand, the project for the first time applies methods of Historical Ethnomusicology on folk music in Anatolia. By dealing with the history of central eastern Anatolia over the past 100 years, it will further investigate the impact of experiences of violence on music traditions. Five main focus regions of this research include: 1) Sivas-Koçgiri; 2) Malatya-Arguvan; 3) Tunceli; 4) northern Bingöl; 5) Muş-Varto, Erzurum-Hınıs. Identity discourses with their historical development over the past decades will be investigated and, as part of them, consequences of historical experiences of violence during local rebellions (Koçgiri 1921, Şey Said 1925, Dersim 1937, Dersim-Bingöl 1994). Can any effect of these experiences on music life be proved, e.g., a growing importance of laments or changes of religious music? Eventually, effects of urbanization in the region, abandonment of villages and migration to Turkish or European cities, on musical traditions will be investigated, with a focus on migrants in Istanbul, Berlin, and Paris. Throughout the project, a focus will be laid on the changing social roles of women and their effects on female musicians.