Zeitschrift für die Welt der Türken / Journal of World of Turks, Vol 13, No 1 (2021)

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We need to give information about the definition and historical process of “ operette” before starting this study titled “Operettes from the Ottoman period to the present”. Operetta was a term used for short and unpretentious operas in the eighteenth century.At the end of the nineteenth century, "operetta" was called "small opera" and "musical theater" as a stage work, born out of the comic opera genre, developed in Paris and Vienna, one of the cultural and artistic centers of Europe. The operettas, which explained fun and emotional subjects in a simple language and appealed to a wide audience, also had the satiric feature of the lower class.
In the Nineteenth Century Ottoman Period, when the influence of westernization began to be seen, interest in western style music increased along with the developments in Turkish music. Western style music was initially adopted by the people around the palace and later by the public and began to be performed. During this period, operettas were staged by Italian groups, and operettas were written by Turkish composers using Turkish and Western music together in the last quarter of the 19th century. In operettas written, the musical and instrumental features of Turkish music were used together with the harmony of Western music, and works were tried to be written using two different structures together.
In this study, the development of operetta from the Ottoman period to the present day, which emerged in line with the Westernization movement, was discussed. The operettas that were written in this period but were not supported by the conditions of that period, could not be completed and therefore were not performed and forgotten, and operettas that have survived to the present day and have the characteristics of Turkish Music have been identified according to the sources. "Arif's Hilesi", known as the first Turkish operetta written in the Ottoman period and composed by Dikran Çuhaciyan, and the "İstanbulname" operetta composed by Turgay Erdener, one of the last generation composers, were also examined.

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