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Musical Ethics and IslamThe Art of Playing the Ney$
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Banu Senay

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043024

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043024.001.0001

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A Biography of the Ney

A Biography of the Ney

(p.25) Chapter One A Biography of the Ney
Musical Ethics and Islam

Banu Şenay

University of Illinois Press

This chapter traces the key shifts in the ney’s modern history, from its de-legitimization in the early Republican period, its survival in the transitional years of its learning through the master-disciple pedagogic system (meşk), to its re-invigoration in the 1990s. These episodes underline how the meanings informing the ney are context-bound and socially constructed. The chapter also sketches out the incredibly rich sonic landscape of the city of Istanbul with which the ney interacts. Attention is given to the creation and consumption of new forms of ‘Sufi music’, and the popularization of Sufism sponsored by both private and state actors in Turkey, including the implications of these processes on the re-contextualization of the ney as a ‘spiritual sound.’

Keywords:   Sufi music, early Republican period, de-legitimization, meşk, pedagogy, popularization of Sufism, spirituality

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