A mechanical source of Turkish music from 18th-century London

Banks, Jon and Lefeber, Marieke (2018) A mechanical source of Turkish music from 18th-century London. Early Music, 46 (2). pp. 299-317. ISSN 1741-7260

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/em/cay013

Abstract

A late eighteenth-century mechanical organ, built into a clock made by Henry Borrell of London, plays melodies that sound completely unlike those normally found on English domestic musical clocks. This article draws on the disciplines of historical musicology, ethnomusicology and horology to argue that these tunes derive directly from the repertory of the eighteenth-century Ottoman court. The melodies are analysed firstly in the context of the Ottoman repertory and then alongside contemporary European transcriptions of ‘exotic’ music, notably Edward Jones’s Lyric Airs. The distortion of ‘Turkish’ melodies in European representations is set within the wider context of orientalism and musical transculturation; this evidence is then brought to bear on interpreting music that may also be subject to mechanical distortion. The article ends with a consideration of how these earliest known sounding examples of Ottoman music may have arrived in London and its reception there.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: mechanical music, eighteenth-century, Ottoman music, Turkish market, organ clock, Henry Borrell, Lyric Airs
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Jon Banks
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2017 14:54
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2018 14:25
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/702261

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