Page 139 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
of pop-folk music, Bulgarian newspapers and general information from Bulgaria.
A third large topic, on which there is an abundance of intriguing materials collected,
is connected with
the town of Edirne and the culture of migrants
. According to the local
connoisseurs cognizant of the history of music in Edirne, we could be taken 50-60 years back at
the most. As a town on the border, it has changed its population many times. This is a town of
residents, who have been arriving from the early nineteenth century up to nowadays as a result of
international agreements, and later through migration from Greece, Macedonia, Bosnia, Bulgaria,
etc. Inplaceof thepopulation that left (andused tobepredominant, according tosome informants):
Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Bulgarians, who lived in separate neighbourhoods, there arrived Balkan
Turks, Roma, and BulgarianMuslims. The“travelling cultures”change the ambience of the town and
the former town culture gets nearly lost among the new settlers. Among the products and crafts
characteristic of them, one comes across almond sweets, the speciality of Jews from Edirne, or the
Greek cheese (
peynir
). The memory of Bulgarians is that they had ovens and used to make bread.
The fieldwork research demonstrated that the memory of the once famous among the Christians
master craftsmen of Edirne, who made bagpipes, has been wiped out almost entirely as the Turks
have no bagpipes. Nowadays in local music there are titles of dance melodies like
Balkan gayda
(bagpipe) or
Pomak gayda
. With the arrival of the Roma and the Roma musicians in town, playing
the
zurna
was established and popularised. The Roma musicians in Edirne are even legitimised by
the local authorities, television, journalists and visitors as the bearers of the music emblematic of
the town. The Roma
zurna
players provide the accompaniment for many of the representative folk
dance groups in Edirne: the children’s dancing group at the municipality, the students’ dancing
group at the Thracian University, etc. The musicians play melodies of the Balkans according to
the origin of the respective dances that are performed. There are representative orchestras of
zurnas
and drums (with Roma players), which take part in the festive town marches and as the
background music for the annual Kırkpınar oil-wrestling. İn the phrase of one of the best familial
zurna
players in town, Fahrettin Zurnacı, the music they perform is Rumelian, i.e. from the Balkans.
The
makams
played on the
zurna
are Rumelian, “our music is not appreciated in Anatolia.”
Presently, there are amateur choirs and orchestras of traditional instruments in town, and
they play folk (
halk
) and classical (
sanat
) Turkish music. A source of a large part of their repertoir
are the archives of the Turkish Radio andTelevision (TRT) that circulate note sheets and recordings.
The music groups in Edirne have a preference for the local repertoir of songs from Rumelia,
which establishes their regional specificity. There is a similar attempt in the repertoir policies of
the folk dance schools and formations in town, which perform predominantly Rumelian dances.
Thus, the music and the dances of the Balkan peninsula integrate the population of Edirne in the
overall diversity of local culture.
***
The researchon the connectionbetween themigrationprocesses and themusical culture of
the migrants, which I have outlined here, is to be further developed and expanded, with new field
observations and research quests added to it. The world of music is colourful and inexhaustible,
fluid and multifaceted, spatially and temporally open.
Translated by Vitana Kostadinova