Music and the soul

Music and the soul… Just imagine, you wake up early one morning to the sound of the beloved folk song ““Aman da ne zor imiş burçak yolması“, and the sun has just started to rise.

Then remember the mornings during the religious feasts; how well Mustafa Kandıralı plays the clarinet. And particularly the days of Ramadan… the sound of the reed flute (ney). Days that end to the tune of the song ” Akşam oldu hüzünlendim ben yine…”. If you are suffering from unrequited love then arabesque music has a totally different meaning for you… Those pop songs that reflected our emotions during the years of our fiery youth… Excitement, fear, pain, joy, expectations, the sound of music accompanies your every feeling. If we generalise we see that the music of every society is different, and so are the brains which the different types of music address… Just as it is difficult for a German person to understand the meaning and different emotional tone that the reed flute carries for someone who lives on this land, it is the same for a Turkish person with the music of the cello. The fact that these two instruments are similar to each other with regard to sound physics does not change things. With the contributions of my dear friend and respected scientist Prof Dr Tamer Demiralp we conducted a research to prove that the human brain is influenced by social factors and forms itself accordingly, we looked at the influence of music and designed an experiment in lines with the above. From the outcome we saw that the reed flute really does resonate differently in us… The fact that the study initiated a large number of other studies indicates that the findings are reliable. Master Veysel summarized it well when he said: “We are Turks we sing Folk Songs (in Turkish: “Türkü”)… Notwithstanding this, we also have to accept that music is universal. How? If we look at the world of notes a little closer we see that the origins go back to mathematics. If this were not the case, how could a deaf person like Beethoven have composed music? I think it is about combining cultural authenticity with mathematical universality… Look at Mozart, and his “Turkish March”, how well he mathematically reflected the sound of galloping horses in the music. He understood the important place that horses occupy in our culture and through music made it universal. If we consider that there is an area in the brain reserved for music we can better understand the importance of music in the psychological structure. Lastly, I would like to mention a point that has drawn my attention. In cultural imperialism It cannot be a coincidence that in the imperial states try to impose their own music onto other societies. Maybe by these means they are also adjusting the brains in the other societies. I full-heartedly wish that such efforts remain fruitless…

Prof. Dr. Kemal Arıkan