MehterânMehterân
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Mehterân

for solo timpani
Level: Med-Advanced
Duration: 15:00
Release Date: 2015
Product ID : TSPCS15-003
Price: $18.00
Item #: TSPCS15-003


Performed by Dr. Mark Berry


Description

Mehterân (Mā\te\’rän), for solo timpani, explores the history of the Janissary Corps. The “Janissaries” were infantry soldiers of the Ottoman Empire. Their music is considered to be the oldest form of marching military music in the world. Their bands were known as mehterân.

This piece draws influence from both the music of the Janissaries and their life experience in a historical context. The ominous sounds of their percussion—the kös, the nakkares, the davul, and the çevgen—are all evoked from the timpanist. Loosely programmatic, the seven movements of this work portray musically the historic military conflicts fought by the Janissaries, exploring both victory and defeat.

The music of the mehterân influenced European composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Josef Haydn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The modern timpani used in Western music today are descended from instruments used by the Janissary Corps’ mehterân.

 

Instrumentation

  • 4 timpani (32", 29", 26", 23")

Reviews

This piece is written in seven short movements, which are based on the history of the Janissaries soldiers of the Ottoman Empire. The piece takes about 15 minutes to perform and, by following the mallet requirements, will address the sound textures that will make the work significant. The movements are titled “The Siege of Constantinople (1453),” “Kos,” “Nakkare,” “The Fall of Constantinople,” “Solemne,” “The Night Attack (1462),” and “The Auspicious Incident (1826).” 

The solo contains several unique concepts pertaining to musical forms, styles of attacks, and sound. Written for four drums, the various movements are filled with materials that are descriptive of the eras reflected by the titles. Some of the rhythmic patterns include mixed meters, uncommon rhythmic groupings, and pitch changes. A few passages are written as a duet between the hands, and these create interesting rhythms and content. 

The mallet descriptions are an important part of the historic texture of the work. The Davul drum sound calls for striking a rimshot to produce the desired tone. There is also a description of the Cevegen mallet, which has jingles on the handle, in order to imitate the sound of the “Jingling Johnnie” found in Janissary music. 

The materials in this solo make this an interesting work, appropriate for recital and class programs. 

—George Frock
Percussive Notes
Vol. 55, No. 1 – March 2017

Description

Mehterân (Mā\te\’rän), for solo timpani, explores the history of the Janissary Corps. The “Janissaries” were infantry soldiers of the Ottoman Empire. Their music is considered to be the oldest form of marching military music in the world. Their bands were known as mehterân.

This piece draws influence from both the music of the Janissaries and their life experience in a historical context. The ominous sounds of their percussion—the kös, the nakkares, the davul, and the çevgen—are all evoked from the timpanist. Loosely programmatic, the seven movements of this work portray musically the historic military conflicts fought by the Janissaries, exploring both victory and defeat.

The music of the mehterân influenced European composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Josef Haydn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The modern timpani used in Western music today are descended from instruments used by the Janissary Corps’ mehterân.

 

Instrumentation

  • 4 timpani (32", 29", 26", 23")

Reviews

This piece is written in seven short movements, which are based on the history of the Janissaries soldiers of the Ottoman Empire. The piece takes about 15 minutes to perform and, by following the mallet requirements, will address the sound textures that will make the work significant. The movements are titled “The Siege of Constantinople (1453),” “Kos,” “Nakkare,” “The Fall of Constantinople,” “Solemne,” “The Night Attack (1462),” and “The Auspicious Incident (1826).” 

The solo contains several unique concepts pertaining to musical forms, styles of attacks, and sound. Written for four drums, the various movements are filled with materials that are descriptive of the eras reflected by the titles. Some of the rhythmic patterns include mixed meters, uncommon rhythmic groupings, and pitch changes. A few passages are written as a duet between the hands, and these create interesting rhythms and content. 

The mallet descriptions are an important part of the historic texture of the work. The Davul drum sound calls for striking a rimshot to produce the desired tone. There is also a description of the Cevegen mallet, which has jingles on the handle, in order to imitate the sound of the “Jingling Johnnie” found in Janissary music. 

The materials in this solo make this an interesting work, appropriate for recital and class programs. 

—George Frock
Percussive Notes
Vol. 55, No. 1 – March 2017



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