This volume focuses on the mystic music of the Islamic world―specifically Turkish mystics.
To Westerners, Islamic mysticism is practically synonymous with Sufism. Sufi poetry and
music have endured for centuries in various Islamic countries. In the mystical brotherhoods
music always had a revered and acknowledged place. Although the term music is never used in
mystical writings, but rather listening―voice, gesture and musical instruments are all aids to the devotee in his spiritual exercise, which leads him to ecstasy and to supreme union with God. In every case, the music draws its inspiration from the text, and its structure from a sophisticated set of modes, rhythms, and traditional forms.
The tracks on this recording literally date from the V-XIV/11th-20th centuries featuring many
famous compositions such as Tekbir and Salavat-i Serife, known throughout the Islamic world
as two of the masterworks of one of Turkey's greatest composers. Also featured are ilahis
(hymns), excerpts of the sema ritual and dhikr (zikr in Turkey) ceremonies. Completing the
volume is a vocal performance of Surah 19, Ayet 115-117 of the Qur'an.
The ensemble performing on this volume consists of members of the Galata Mevlevi Music
and Sema Ensemble, based in Istanbul, Turkey.