Saturday, 4 August 2018

Tanburi Abdi Coşkun - Tanbur Taksimleri - Cassette released in Turkey in the 1980s or 1990s

Here we present excellent recordings by the great Tanbur player Abdi Coşkun. Unfortunately one doesn't find much information on him in the internet except that he was born in 1941 and that he was a student of the great Tanbur master Necdet Yaşar, himself a student Mesut Cemil Bey, the son of Tanburi Cemil Bey. In the booklet to the CD "Turquie - L'art du tanbur ottoman" (VDE-586), which is devoted to the plucked Tanbur, played by Abdi Coşkun, and the bowed Tanbur, played by Fahreddin Çimenli, the author Kudsi Erguner writes that Abdi Coşkun "has distinguished himself by his noble and creative style situated halfway between that of his master and the more traditional one of the famous Izzeddin Ökte." 
There is a biography in Turkish in the internet, which the Google Translator translates unfortunately into quite some nonsense.
The Turkish Tanbur is considered the most important and most noble instrument of Ottoman music. In each generation in the last century there have been only very few great masters of this difficult instrument.

On the instrument see: 

This cassette finishes quite abruptly on side B. We have made the end a little bit more smooth by creating a short fade out.

In 2011 we had posted from the same series a cassette by the great Kemence master Hasan Esen.


About Izzeddin (Izzettin) Ökte (1910-1991)

Izzeddin Ökte was a famous Tanbur player who represented an old, very traditional style of Tanbur playing. His music was free of influences of the great Tanburi Cemil Bey (1873-1916), who was a very inspired musician with limitless creativity, who not only left an immense influence on Ottoman classical music, but also on many Arabic musicians of several generations. There are a number of CDs available by him. Recently a box of 10 CDs, 1 LP and a book was released by Kalan.
Izzeddin Ökte kept to the old art of Taksim playing and was and is only known to few connoiseurs. I remember still very vividly my first encounter with his music. In the mid 1980s I was in a Turkish bookshop in Berlin Kreuzberg and there was playing wonderful Tanbur music. I asked the owner if this music was for sale. He said that these were his private recordings and showed me a set of two cassettes by Izzeddin Ökte, published by an institution of music lovers in Istanbul. I never was able to obtain these recordings. Much later I discovered on a Turkish website (probably by the same institution of music lovers) these recordings as commercial downloads. But I was not able to download them as one needed apparently a Turkish bank card. See here for the first cassette and the second cassette.
In the meantime there are quite a number of recordings by him on YouTube, also partly those from the two cassettes. Here two beautiful longer collections of his music which I discovered a few days ago:


Miguel said...

Thank you for this great series of cassettes... and thank you for this blog! I love Central Asian, Persian, and Ottoman musics, and I have found gems thanks to you. You are the best!


Anonymous said...

thank you for another great post.

Psikofobi said...


boba said...

Thanks a lot for the music from my hometown!

Unknown said...

Hi Im a turkish guy so I'll translate a biography for you..

Abdi Çoşkun, musician, singer, Tanbur player and musicologist and music teacher. Born in 1941, Tekirdag, Turkey. He went to Primary school of Beylerbeyi than to "Vefa High school" than he graduated from Economy at İstanbul University. Between 1963-183; he sang and played Tanbur at Istanbul TRT Radio (Turkish Radio and Television Association Radio Channel) and worked as branch chef of Turkish Classical Music and was a member of education-examination-supervison comission. At 1983, he began to work for İstanbul Technical University (ITU) State Conservatory, as the head of Fundemantal Sciences department. He joined/played in to many art events in Africa, USA, Europe, Asia.

From 1967, he played Tanbur at the events of "Commemoreation of Rumi" in Konya for 25 years. He made research on turkish music notation. Prepared a Tanbur playing method book for ITU conservatory. At 1980, he got an Honor award from UNESCO for the long-playing record that he prepared as "Turkish Classical Music". Also, the Geneva Etnography Museum released a CD of him called "Turkey: The art of the Ottoman Tanbur" (available at spotify : ), and recorded to its' archieve under ethnomusicology field. This archieve, has won the Academy Charles Cross Grand Prix for International CDs.

In terms of making/luthier work of tanbur instrument, he worked with old luthiers called, "Kumkapılı Agah Idem", "Hadi Eroğluer" and "Onnik Üner" to understand/analyze their methods.

In 2007, Abdi Çoşkun, retired from ITU Conservatory because of the over-age rule. Yet still works as a teacher of Tanbur at the same organization. Part of his students from conservatory, working at TRT and state choirs. He is married and has 2 doughters, one of them (Lütfiye Özer) plays the turkish bowed isntrument "Klasik Kemençe" and other (Ayşe Ayhan) plays the Kanun (a flat played harp). And has 3 grandchildren.

Tawfiq said...

Thank you very much. By the way, only half of the CD published by the Musée d'Ethnographiee de Genève is by Abdi Coskun. The other half is by Fahreddin Cimenli on the Yayli Tanbur (bowed tanbur). Indeed an excellent CD. I had mentioned it in my post.