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Fretless Guitar as a Model Evolving from Region to Globe
As being a sub category of the lute family we can extend the history of the fretless guitar, dating from 2000 BC to the apperance of the first string instruments; which had been common in Mesopotamia and Mediterranean region. The inventor of the fretless guitar as we know today is Henry Partch. Although the first commercial recording which had used the fretless guitar was “Stainless Steel Gamelan” by John Cale and Sterling Morrison; Frank Zappa was the first musician which had considered the fretless guitar as a kind of slide guitar and played extensively in his albums. On the other hand, the fretless guitar in the hands of Erkan Oğur; was an instrument capable of reflecting the stylistic aspects of Turkish Folk and Traditional musics also, by using the wide expression possibilities the guitar. Due to these properties, Erkan Oğur is one of the musicians; who has contributed to the development of Anatolian Pop/Rock sound. The first commercial recording that Erkan Oğur was played is the song called “Güllerin İçinden” which was released in the M. F. Ö album “Ele güne karşı” in 1984. This song which infact in d aeolian, is built on four chords; but suprisingly Erkan Oğur’s improvisation is in the Uşşak makam on A. Thus the notion of modality which is felt through the piece is transfered to a makamic axis. This, infact is a kind of reflection of multiculturalism which had been prevailing the world since 70’s that has also synchronic tendencies in Turkey as well. Moreover, when it is analyzed from a wider perspective, the fretless guitar threatens the idea of 18th century Rationalism and the applications of standartisation; which had dominated the evolution of music through the history. Because, the procedure of standartisation had led to various kinds of temperament systems and eventually to the equal temperament; on the other hand the fretless guitar like all the fretless instruments has the freedom of being both inside and outside the temperament systems used in the world. Undoubtfully, this freedom is the core of Erkan Oğur’s sound. Today, the number of musicians which follow Erkan Oğur’s path has been increasing gradually; because they desire to be unstandartised and free of the boundaries of temperament.

Fretless Guitar, Modernity, Rationality, Temperament, Makam, The Modernisation of Turkish Music

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Adres :Karabuk University Journal of Institute of Social Sciences
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