Returning - The Music Of The Whirling Dervishes by Mevlevi Ensemble

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Returning - The Music Of The Whirling Dervishes by Mevlevi Ensemble

Whirling Dervishes: Known to the west as Whirling Dervishes, the members of the Mevlevi Order (named for their founder Mevlana) from Konya lived in what we might call coisters or monasteries - what to them was a Mevlevihane. The one at Galata in Istanbul is a product of late Ottoman architecture, and quite elaborate in having a tomb, a large chamber for the ceremony of the whirling dance (Sema), a fountain from which water was charitably distributed to the public, a time keeper's room, cells for the dervishes, separate quarters for the Master, a section for women, a chamber of silence, a large ornate fountain for ablutions, and a laundry room. The Mevlevi Order founded by Mevlana in Konya during the Seljuk period is made up first and foremost of tekke analogous to the monasteries of the West. The first of these tekkes is named for Mevlana and was considered as the originator of all the rest. One figure stands out in the early spread of the order: Divani Mehmet Celebi. The celebis or gentle ones who went out to break new ground and make converts saw themselves as disciples of this great master, and an astonishing number of tekkes were established during Divani Mehmet Celebi's lifetime and thanks to his efforts; in Aleppo, Egypt and Algeria, on the islands of Chios (Sakiz) and Mitilene, and of course on the Turkish mainland. The Galata Mevlevihane is among these latter. The rituals of the Rumi's followers (Whirling Dervishes) are among the enduring as well as the most exquisite ceremonies of spirituality. The ritual whirling of the dervishes is an act of love and a drama of faith. It possesses a highly structured form within which the gentle turns become increasingly dynamic as the individual dervishes strive to achieve a state of trans. The music that accompanies the whirling from beginning to end ranges from somber to rhapsodical; its effect is intended to be mesmerizing. Chanting of poetry, rhythmic rotation, and incessant music create a synthesis which, according to the faithful, induces a feeling of soaring, of ecstasy, of mystical flight. The Mevlevi sect belongs to the Sunni or orthodox mainstream of Islam. Its doctrine never developed a revolutionary strategy - and although it was occasionally criticized for its heretical ideas, it always enjoyed the respect of the officialdom. Many later Ottoman Sultans, including Mehmed, the Conqueror of Istanbul, were enamored of Mevlevi ideals. The reformist Sultan Selim III was virtually a member. Suleyman, probably the greatest of the Sultans, held the Mevlevi dervishes in high esteem and their semahane (whirling hall) constructed for them as his imperial gift. The hall/mosque stands next to Rumi's mausoleum in Konya. The Whirling Dervishes played a vitally important part in the evolution of Ottoman high culture. From the 14th to the 20th century , their impact on classical poetry, calligraphy, and the visual arts was profound, while music was perhaps their greatest achievement. Since the dogmatists of Islam's orthodoxy opposed music as being harmful to the listener and detrimental to religious life, no sacred music or mosque music evolved except for the Mevlud, a poem in praise of the Prophet Muhammed, chanted on high occasions or as a requiem. Rumi and his followers integrated music into their rituals as an article of faith. In his verses, Rumi emphasized that music uplifts our spirit to realms above, and we hear the tunes of the Gates of Paradise. The meeting places of the dervishes, consequently, became academies of art, music, and dance. Today, the performances of The Whirling Dervishes includes twelve musicians (on traditional Turkish instruments) and 12 dancers. There is also a master of ceremony. A performance is broken into two parts with the introduction conducted by the master followed by 3 or 4 pieces of music. This is followed by a 4-part whirling ceremony.

[01]. Naat-i-Mevlan
[02]. Ney Taksim
[03]. Sultan Veled Peshrev
[04]. First Selâm
[05]. Second Selâm
[06]. Third Selâm
[07]. Fourth Selâm
[08]. Son Peshrev & Son Yuruk Semai
[09]. Kanun Taksim
[10]. Quranic Recitation - Surah Rahman

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