ABSTRACT

While most musical traditions within the greater Ottoman cultural zone used oral tradition as their principal method of learning and teaching up until the 20th century, it is possible to say that one of the major exceptions to this was the neumatic notation system of Byzantine church music which was mainly used to preserve the sacred liturgy of Greek Orthodoxy. Byzantine notation is studied mostly by church cantors and, ironically, while collections like Euterpe exist due to Greek Orthodox cantors’ interests in Ottoman/Turkish music, since secular music repertoire in general is of secondary interest to most of them, Ottoman/Turkish music repertoire in Byzantine neumes is, for the most part, still waiting to be transcribed into the notation system used by modern day classical Turkish music. This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.