Classical Turkish music is the courtly music of the Ottoman sultans that is an offspring of the Arabic and Persian traditions. This music is not written down in scores; with only the maquam, which is a similar pattern of major-minor scale system, being marked down. Improvisation (taksim) is a traditional variation technique, featuring the form. Sometimes described as monophonic music, the variety of ornamentation and variation in the ensemble requires the more accurate term heterophonic. There are about 24 unequal intervals and almost numberless modes. http://www.lesartsturcs.org/music/index.html Turkish (or Ottoman) classical music is at its heart a kind of chamber music. Like the Arab classical counterpart of maqamat, it is also similarly is built on a tonal system called makam, whose stringent rules dictate melodic development. In Turkish classical music, the art of taksim, or improvisation, is of central importance; such improvisations begin long suites that generally also include a prelude, songs and a postlude. Artists performing together in groups are essentially all soloists, with each taking a turn in the spotlight with elaborate taksim, with each individual building their own melodic and rhythmic ideas upon given lines. Typical instruments include oud, the long-necked tanbur lute, the long, end-blown flute called the ney, kanun zither, klarnet (clarinet), def frame drum and the darbuka, a goblet-shaped drum. As with many other styles of urban music across the globe, Turkish classical music at its peak was an art form performed by various ethnic minorities; in the case of Turkey, the great names of Ottoman classical music include large numbers of ethnic Armenians, Greeks and Jews. http://worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com/view/page.basic/genre/content.genre/turkish_classical_797/en_US Ottoman court music has a large and varied system of modes or scales known as makams, and other rules of composition. A number of notation systems were used for transcribing classical music, the most dominant being the Hamparsum notation in use until the gradual introduction of western notation. Turkish classical music is taught in conservatories and social clubs, the most respected of which is Istanbul s Üsküdar Musiki Cemiyeti. A specific sequence of classical Turkish musical forms become a fasıl, a suite an instrumental prelude (peşrev), an instrumental postlude (saz semaisi), and in between, the main section of vocal compositions which begins with and is punctuated by instrumental improvisations taksim. A full fasıl concert would include four different instrumental forms and three vocal forms, including a light classical song, şarkı. A strictly classical fasıl remains is the same makam throughout, from the introductory taksim and usually ending in a dance tune or oyun havası. However shorter şarkı compositions, precursors to modern day songs, are a part of this tradition, many of them extremely old, dating back to the 14th century. Ottoman classical music comprises many genres, among which are the suites called fasıl. A fasıl typically includes many instrumental and/or vocal movements, including taksim, peşrev, şarkı, beste, and kar, among others.Other famous proponents of this genre include Sufi Dede Efendi, Prince Cantemir, Baba Hamparsum, Kemani Tatyos Efendi, Sultan Selim III and Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. The most popular modern Turkish classical singer is Münir Nurettin Selçuk, who was the first to establish a lead singer position. Other performers include Bülent Ersoy, Zeki Müren, Müzeyyen Senar and Zekai Tunca. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_classical_music Ottoman music is of definite historical interest, with developments paralleling many of those for European music. For instance, Ottoman court music underwent a distinct stylistic shift in the mid-1700s, and again in the very early 1900s, when it disappeared as a living entity. Besides the revival of this later Ottoman music, based upon direct remnants of c.1900 culture, there is the beginning of an "early music" movement in Turkey, concentrating on music from the 1600s and earlier. Structurally, together with the broader melodic framework of makam, Ottoman music is based on rhythmic cycles called usûl. The Sufi influence has also been strong in Anatolia, especially in traditions which survived into the twentieth century. In the Sufi tradition, the reed flute ney is the most important instrument. The ney is used in one or more forms throughout the region, and whereas the Iranian technique features alternation between two positions (including the more shrill sound of holding the mouthpiece with the teeth), Turkish technique relies only on the airier sound achieved by positioning the instrument against the bottom of the lower lip. The ney is specifically connected to Ottoman court music through the ceremonies of the Mevlevis (whirling dervishes), which were supported by many Ottoman rulers.