Zeki Müren, one of vocal artists with unforgettable sounds in Turkish Art Music broke many social taboos in Turkey with his deep sound, different interpretation style and jessie appearance. He became the first civil “pasha” with decorous and gentle attitudes he displayed while performing his art. He was celebrated as the "Sun" of Classical Turkish Music with his powerful sound, successful music career and gorgeous presence on the stage.
He was born in Tophane district of Bursa city on 6 December 1931. He completed his elementary and secondary education in Bursa. Müren began to compose in 1946 decided to continue his education life in Istanbul. While continuing his high school education in 1949, he composed his first piece "Zehretme bana hayatı cananım". He was 17 years old and a student of high school while this piece announced in Istanbul Radio by Suzan Güven with announcement of “piece of Zeki Müren from Bursa in Acemkürdi Magam.”
He became a regular vocal artist on Istanbul Radio in 1950. Upon sudden illness of Perihan Altındağ Sözeri, vocal artist of Istanbul Radio on 1 January 1951, Müren was invited to give a concert on the radio programme instead of her and showed a great live performance for 45 minutes. After this concert, art music career of Müren came up. In the same year, he made the first record with name of "Bir Muhabbet Kuşu", lyrics of which were written by Şükrü Tunar.
He shared the leading role with Cahide Sonku in his first film “Beklenen Şarkı” in 1954. Moreover, He played a role in the spectacle "Çay ve Sempati" of Arena Theater in 1955. Thanks to his piece “Manolyam” in kürdili hicazkar magam, he was awarded with Gold Record for the first time in Turkey.
Müren was the first person to clothe all orchestra with the same standard dress in Turkey, so formed integrity on the stage and contributed a theatric gorgeousness to the music.
In 1965, He brought his poems written in course of time together and published under name of "Bıldırcın Yağmuru". He was interested in painting and design as amateur. He was awarded many times by various institutions and organizations.
He preferred to be at back of stage in his art works because of heart failure, hypertension and diabetes. After he had two heart attacks respectively in Kuşadası in 1980 and in Paris in 1983, he secluded himself in his house in Bodrum for recovery. In the year of 1984, he gave the last concert in the Bodrum Castle. On 24 September 1996, the artist coming to TRT Izmir Studios for TV shootings of Award Ceremony organized for him by TRT had another heart attacked during the program and he died.
Selçuk, one of the most prominent vocal artists in 20th century brought the understanding of accompanied solo by Turkish Classical Music. Münir Nureddin received the surname of “Selçuk” when the surname law came into force because his mother’s ancestors had come from “Seljuks” and Germiyans.
Even as a child, he attracted attention with his beautiful voice in elementary school. He took his first musical lessons from his father, an amateur musician. In 1915, he entered the Dârü'l- Feyz-i Mûsikî Society as a student and 3 years later was appeared as one of vocal artists in concerts of this society. For agricultural education, he went to Hungary in 1917 but after a while, he devoted himself to music. In the same year, he entered Darülelhan (Conservatory)
He began to compose with a composition for Tevfik Fikret’s poem 'Bu bir teranedir' in 1920. As the second composition, he wrote lyrics of 'Sensiz ey şuh' and composed this piece. After these pieces, he did not make any composition work for twenty years. He fundamentally started to make composition between 1940 and 1941. He generally used poems of Yahya Kemal Beyatlı on his works and also included works of Divan Poets such as Nedim and Fuzuli. He also had religious musical works. 'Atatürk'e ağıt' and 'Mehter Marşı' from his works have a distinctive significance. Moreover, he was interested in movie music.
CHe was assigned in Muzikai Humayın for 2 months before proclamation of the republic. Then he worked in Fasıl ensemble in the Presidency for four years. He returned to Istanbul in 1926 after resigned.
He was sent to Paris by the firm “Sahibinin Sesi” in 1927 and took lessons on solfege, vocal training and piano in Paris Conservatory.
The musician participated to Performance Board of Istanbul Municipality in the year of 1942. He vocalized 15 outstanding works on record for the conservatory archives. He also quit his work one year later.
He gave consultancy service in Istanbul Radio in 1953 and became the chairman of Performance Board of Istanbul Municipality and continued his duty here for sixteen years.
Then he gave service of teacher on the repertory department of ITU Turkish Music State Conservatory.
The most important feature of Selçuk having an outstanding voice is to bring old interpretation style together with new one and have a magnificent performance technique.
In addition, he gave concerts in French Theater for three years, in Cinema Melek for five year and in Cinema Saray for twenty three years.
Münir Nurettin had approximately 400 records and several of them were polyphonic musical trials. He died in 1981.
On 23 May 1897, he was born as son of a soldier from troop of guardsmen of Sultan Abdulhamit II. He attracted attention with his voice in his childhood. He took his first music lessons from his brother. He had the secondary education in Kocamustafa Pasha Junior high School. He was accepted as a vocal artist to Muzikay-i Hümayun in 1918. Burhan was benefited from Master Ismail Hakkı Bey and Zati Arca. Ismail Hakkı Bey was his teacher on religious music and Burhan learned hymns from him. Moreover, he had a chance to work together with valuable teachers like Lem’i Atlı and Sadettin Kaynak.
He did not have a comprehensive musical education. He completed the memorizing education (on Quran), afterwards. He became renowned as hafiz, gazelhan (singer of gazels), zakir and chanter of the Mevlit. He recited the Mevlit and the Quran in the month of Ramadan and gave duty of muezzin in tarawih prayers.
With promulgation of the republic, he quit from Muzikay-i Hümayun which moved to Ankara and renamed as Riyaset-i Cumhur Fasıl Heyeti (Fasıl ensemble of the Presidency) and he did not go to Ankara. In addition to religious duties and activities, he also vocalized in Fasıl ensembles. Then he established an ensemble for him. After 1926-1927, his reputation increased. In the same years, he began to work in Istanbul Radio.
Hafız Burhan was one and may be the first of the most powerful and beautiful voices the Turkish music educated and a “legendary” musician left mark upon music life of 20th Century. His magnificent tenor voice attract attentions. Romanian Conservatory insisted to give music education to him but this offer was rejected by him. It is told that when he was vocalizing pieces on the radio, sound technicians had difficulties and microphones were not sufficient for his voice. Upon request of technicians, he vocalized on a distance far away from microphone.
His about 100 records for Columbia pressed numerously. 'Hafız Burhan' is the person come to mind at first when saying record and gazel. Words of 'Gazel', 'record', 'gramophone' were commemorated with name of Hafız Burhan.
Makber, one of symbols of this century was also one of the most pressed and sold records among Turkish vinyl record and remained on the agenda for long years.
Hafız Burhan preparing also the music of many Turkish movies was known as tall, well-built and cheerful person and died as a result of cerebral hemorrhage in Ankara where he went to recite the Mevlit for daughter of Marshall Fevzi Çakmak on 18 April 1943.
The most popular voice of Turkish art Music, Müzeyyen Senar was born in 1919 in Bursa. She started her musical education under supervision of kemancha master Kemal Niyazi Seyhun Bey and lute player Hayriye Hanım. This talented girl having an admirable voice was given lessons by essential masters of the period like Hafız Sadettin Kaynak, Selahattin Pınar, Lem'i Atlı and Mustafa Nafiz Irmak as long as her reputation was spreading. They assisted her to vocalize pieces of the period and learn and vocalize their compositions.
Thanks to the support of Kemal Niyazi Bey and Hayriye Hanim, Senar started to vocalize pieces in Istanbul Radio and made her name to large masses. In the 10th Year Belvü Casino where was one of the most important music halls in Istanbul, Müzeyyen Senar participated to the program of stars in the summer season of 1933 and took to the stage in other famous casinos in Istanbul in the following years.
Talent of the Müzeyyen Senar attracted attention of the Ataturk, founder of the republic and lover of Turkish Art Music and she vocalized pieces many times before him and his special meetings.
Müzeyyan Senar took place in the first broadcastings of Ankara Radio in 1938 and continued to meet her radio audiences until 1941.
Müzeyyen Senar gave her last concerts in the Istanbul Bebek Casino in 1983. After that date, she has vocalized pieces only in rare moments or special meeting with music.
Müzeyyen Senar was assigned as State Artist in 1998. On 26 September 2006, she had an cerebral infarction in her house in Izmir and it was stated that the left part of her body has became paralyzed. It was also expressed that the vocal artist becoming paralyzed because of thrombosis in her brain had no life-threatening situation. She received treatments until beginning of April 2007 in the Darüşşafaka Rehabilitation Center in Istanbul. After these treatments, she has been able to stand on her left foot. Now she lives with her daughter Feraye and her son Ömer in Bodrum. On 24 February 2008 it was stated that she lost her voice. But she has not still known her loss.
She attracted attention with her beautiful voice. She was lover of Hafız Burhan. She had elementary education in Hacı Kadın Elementary School in Haseki. Because her father’s business works were deteriorating, she began to take to the stage in 11 years old. After she worked in many Anatolian cities for 4-5 years, she lived for a long time in Antep. Her reputation was spreading up to Istanbul. In the beginning of 1932 year, she started casino works within the scope of the program of Safiye Ayla in famous London Pub in Beyoğlu. She took private lessons from Selahattin Pınar, Sadettin Kaynak, Yesari Asım Arsoy, Mısırlı İbrahim and Bimen Şen. In the July month of 1932, she won the award in Vocal Queen of Turkey organized in Mısırlıoğlu Garden in Kadıköy. In 1933, she participated to radio programs of old Istanbul Radio. She made records for companies such as Sahibinin Sesi, Columbia and Odeon. When the surname law came into force, upon insistences of Sadettin Kaynak and Selahattin Pınar, she received the surname of "Yüceses". Sadettin Kaynak made compositions according to her voice: O Dudaklar, Yasemen, Kirpiklerinin Gölgesi etc. These records were best-sellers in her period.
She got married with petty officer Fethi Yüceses in 1940. She lost her husband Fethi Yüceses, petty officer, because of sinking of the submarine Atılay on 14 July 1942, this event as Atılay tragedy went down in naval history. The piece of "Gitti de Gelmeyiverdi" she vocalized with this pain became far-famed. His reputation increased much more with the piece of “Makber”, lyrics of which belongs to Abdülhak Hamit Tarhan and composed by Mehmet Baha and very difficult to be vocalized. In 1944, she got married with Kemal Mollaoğlu. In the same period, she participated to Performance Board of Istanbul Municipality Conservatory. The fact that she vocalized the piece of “Bakmıyor Çeşm-i Siyah” of Hacı Arif Bey in 1946 by adding a gazel attracted attention. In 1949, she also made this piece on records of Odeon. Sale record of this piece has not been broken even today.
She died in Muğla in 10 July 1996.
Safiye Ayla is one of the most famous vocal artists of the Republic Period and left her mark on Turkish Art Music for 75 years.
Ayla was born in Istanbul in 1907. After she lost her father without being born and her mother when she was 3 years old, she was grown up in Caglayan Darüleytam in Bebek.
Ayla completed her education life in Bursa Teacher School for Girls following elementary education. Then although she worked as a teacher for a while, she did not make his occupation. Ayla beginning to play the piano at a young age took first music lessons from composer Mustafa Sunar at first and then famous composers and tunesmiths like Yesari Asım Arsoy, Sadettin Kaynak, Selahattin Pınar, Udi Nevras, Mesut Cemil and Refik Fersan etc after beauty of her voice was distinguished.
With support of Sunar, her first teacher, Ayla became a country-wide famous vocal artist after her first record. Each of about 500 records became best-sellers.
Ayla taking to the stage in the concerts of “Darüttalim-i Musiki Heyeti” in 1931 for the first time worked in Istanbul and Ankara Radio and Performance Board of Istanbul Conservatory.
One of Fans of Ayla vocalizing pieces in casinos for long years was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Mustafa Kemal taking pleasure from her voice often requested her to vocalize his favorite pieces in the meetings and dinner parties organized.
Safiye Ayla who was the most famous of female vocals being listened by a great number of audiences got married with lute player and composer Şerif Muhittin Targan in 1950 and received surname of her husband.
Ayla vocalized pieces in such a mensurable way, with a good elocution as well as excited and charming style. Smoothness in her voice could not be off tone in even squeal forms.
Long life adventure of Safiye Ayla came to an end in Istanbul on 14 January 1998.