A brief history of Kurdish music recordings in Turkey

Robert F Reigle


This article delineates the complex history of Kurdish music recordings in Turkey by dividing it into seven periods. The first period begins with the very first recording of Kurdish music, in 1902. Political events demarcate the remaining periods, embracing the founding of the Turkish Republic, three military coups, the initial legalization of Kurdish language use and further easing of restrictions on broadcasting. The recordings discussed here include those recorded in, manufactured in, or imported to Turkey, both legally and illegally. In addition to the legal environment, the evolution of sound recording and distribution technology also shaped access to and use of Kurdish musics. It is hoped that further research be undertaken urgently, before the remaining sound recordings of the 20th century disappear, and the people who understand their history leave us.


Dengbêj; Kurdish music; sound recordings; Turkey

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ISSN: 1792-2518
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