MusicAssignment (Reggae) vs. Racism
MusicAssignment (Arabesque) vs. Racism
Overthe time, music has been and has remained a key tool of communicationwithin the community. There are different types or genres of musicglobally. Music and society have always been intimately related. Themusic reflects and creates social conditions, including the factorsthat either facilitate or impede social change. Music has been partof the human kind since early times. Over the time music has becomean important and powerful medium. The impact of the music in thesociety has been tremendous to an extent that the society has triedto control its use. Theexpansion of recording methods/techniques in the final half of the20thcentury has transformed the scope to which most people have access tomusic. These days, all sorts of music are accessible to most people,24 hours a day, at the touch of a switch there are different andnumerous genres of music. Some of these include hip-hop, gospel,jazz, soul, country R&B, among many other types in the society.
Thereare different types of music all over the world. Music is affiliatedwith different aspects such as culture, community, religion, seasonamong other aspects. Different music has received a differentresponse from the public, with each and every genre of music havingits own fans or followers. Talking about society affiliated music,there comes the ArabesqueMusic.Thispaper looks into the Arabesque genre of music, its history, impact tothe society and most importantly, its contribution in the fightagainst racism. The Arab world has been impactions in the currentworld and so does their music (Tekman & Hortaçsu, 2002).
TheArabesque Music (Turkish Music)
Alsoknown as Arabesk, Arabesque is the name given to the Arabic style ofmusic created in Turkey. This music genre was trendy in Turkeybetween the years 1960s through to 1990s. Just like other forms ofmusic, Arabesque has evolved over the decades. Although melodies andrhythms in this genre are predominantly by Zaniteas well as being Arabic influenced. It also draws ideas fromdifferent other aspects such as BalkanandMiddleEastern music,which includes Baglamamusicand Ottoman forms of the oriental music (Tekman& Hortaçsu, 2002).
Inreference to the Arabesque music, just a small percentage of themusic is completely instrumental. However, for the majority of it asinger is always at the center of the music. This type of music hasbeen dominated by men during its early years. However, female artistsdominated the music during its peak time. One person who has beenover time credited with the foundation of this music is OrhanGencebay.Other artists who have made their name in the industry include peoplelike MüslümGürses, FerdiTayfur andHakkıBulut.Over the time, the genre has seen other artists come and go. Despiteits old age, there are artist who has made their name in the musicindustry even in terms of sales record. One of the most successfulcommercially is IbrahimTatlıses.He broke all the sales record which was there in Turkey by the year1978. He additionally managed to maintain his popularity within theindustry of the Arabesk scene, through remixing his tracks into clubtracks (Özgür, 006).
Withinthe arabesque music in turkey, different people have their name knownthrough the world due to their contribution or achievement in themusic industry. Notable arabesques include people like ClaudeDebussy, Robert, Schuman, and Moritz Moszkowski,Cécile Chaminade, Edward MacDowell, Anton Arensky among many others.Just like the case with all the music genres in the world, music isused for entertainment, education as well as being a medium ofcommunication or sending any desires message to its listeners.Arabesque serves the purposes of music, as mentioned as is highlyused to entertain its lovers, educate as well as be used as a tool tocommunicate any desires key information to the people in the society(Papatya, 2014).
Thearabesque songs have different and diverse themes. Most of the themesdepends on the composer’s intended message to the artists his/heraudience. Some of the common messages within this music genre includethe highly embroidered and distressing representation of love anddesire, along with unreciprocated love, grief and pain. This is oneof the themes that have had traces of class disparities in early1960-70s, during which most of the genre`s followers -mostly workingclass to lower middle class- identified themselves with (Özgür,006).
Despitebeing used as an entertainer, the arabesque music has beencontinually been used to pass any intended message to the people. Oneof the major social vices that have affected the Turkish people isracial discrimination. In Turkey, ethnic discrimination and racismhave been prevalent in the society since long ago, and throughout itshistory. This has been seen against the non-Muslims and Sunniminorities (Harnois,2014). The kind of racism experienced in the region includes negativeattitudes by the Turks towards other people who are not identified asethnically Turkish this case usually targets groups of people such asminority groups which aren’t Muslim i.e. Christian minorities.Cases of racial discrimination in turkey dates back to the OttomanEmpire. This was due to the teachings given during that time such asthe Turks are superior over other races in different aspects such aspolitical, military as well as cultural aspect (InGorlée, 2005).
Thereare different cases or approaches that have been deployed in thefight against racial discrimination globally. One of such measures isusing the locally accepted channels of communication as well as knownpeople so as to reach a bigger and wider community in the country.Communication channels that have been embraced by the Turks includeconcerts, festivals, dramas, local movies and most importantly music.Music has been used as a channel to reach to the Turks and pass themessage of love among the different communities living in thecountry. Racial discrimination has been known to cause prejudice inreference to social observations of biological disparities betweenpeoples. The music has been used to fight against this socialinequality urging the racially abused people to stand up and fightfor their rights. The music has also been used to shame thecountries, religion, companies, and regions practicing racialdiscrimination and hence the music, preaching more about equalityamong all people in the world (Tekman & Hortaçsu, 2002).
Despitethe Arabesque music undergoing through massive evolution over time,the music has continued to attract massive followers. This has inturn been used to preach the message of peace among the Turks. Musiccompetitions have been organized, with the intention of bringing theTurkish community together, (encouraging unity). Globally, the musichas been referred as a powerful tool for bringing people together notonly in Turkey. In the year 2010, an Auschwitzsurvivor and Turkish rapper teamed up to fight racism. EstherBejarano credited music and said that, it helped keep her alive whileshe was in prison, which afterwards she used it to fight racism incountries such as German. According to her words, “Butwe all love music and share a common goal: we’re fighting againstracism and discrimination” (Harnois,2014).
Theimpact of the Arabesque music has been tremendous and colossal withinthe Turkish community. In many cases, music has often been deployedas an identifying tool of their culture. Actually, it is not anunderstatement to say that almost the Turkish community has been inone way or another been influenced by their longtime music. Thecelebrities within the arabesque music industries have been used aspeace ambassadors. The music’s positive and universal messagedealing with the concept of unity has been on the forefront inpreaching the same to the people and in turn the music as seen aunifying factor. This has been as well been the case with theArabesque. Just like other music genres, such as rock, punk orhip-hop, Arabesque music has influenced the Turkish society as wellas worldwide from a musical, cultural and political point of view.Despite being a common source of entertainment for all kinds ofpeople in the country, the Arabesque music has proved to be a keyinstrument in the campaign against discrimination in Turkey. This hasled to the music genre being recognized amongst the old and theyoung, despite going through evolution as time goes by.
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