Ottoman military band; Mehter Takımı


Did you know the military bands of modern times has actually roots in Ottomans? Furthermore individual instrumentalist are firstly mentioned in Orkhon inscriptions which is the alphabet used by early Turkic khanate called Göktürk. The idea of military marching band was barrowed from Ottomans to Europe in the 16th century.

In Mehter band there are instruments as the Kös (a giant timpani), the Davul (bass drum), the Zil (cymbals), the Boru (a kind of trumpet), the Kaba Zurna (a bass variety of the zurna), and the Cevgen (a kind of stick bearing small concealed bells). The music played by them has heroic themes and melodies are cheerful, motivating and encouraging.

Also Mehteran influenced classical European music; Joseph Haydn used Turkish music when he composed ‘Military Symphony’ in 1794, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Sonata in A, K. 331 ends with the famous rondo “Alla Turca”, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is accompanied by Turkish instruments.

The visitors who want to see and listen traditional Ottoman military band Mehteran can go to Istanbul Military museum at 15:00 everyday from Wednesday to Sunday. At the end of the concert you are also allowed to take photos with them.

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