Performing Ethnomusicology Series: Munir Beken, Turkish Ud

28 Feb

Munir Beken, Turkish Ud

March 4, 2011


Munir Beken, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, University of California, Los Angeles and virtuoso performer on the Turkish Ud, presents a lecture-rehearsal and seminar in the School of Music’s 2011 Performing Ethnomusicology Series.

Lecture-Rehearsal (12:30-1:20 pm, Brechemin Auditorium, FREE):

“Memories of a Shoehorn,” a 20-minute chamber work in two movements for flute, violin, viola, and cello.

Seminar (2:30-4:30 pm, Fishbowl Conference Room, FREE):
Pitch-Form Continuum and Teaching World Music Theory


In the first half his appearance, Dr. Beken leads an open rehearsal of “Memories of a Shoehorn,” a 20-minute chamber work in two movements for flute, violin, viola, and cello, and discusses the background of the piece, his compositional process, and issues of cross-cultural composition and performance in the 21st Century.

“The ‘shoehorn’ refers to an item that my father always carried with him when he went to musical gatherings at other peoples’ homes in Istanbul, Turkey, in the 1940s and 1950s,” Dr. Beken explains. “Since polite guests always took their shoes off in the house, he carried his own shoehorn with him. The inspiration for this piece comes from my childhood imagination of what the shoehorn might have heard at these musical gatherings, rather than a duplication of the music that would actually have been played. I based the work on my memory of what my father, arriving home from a gathering, used to explain to me as an 8-year-old child. The composition incorporates some elements of Turkish classical music, such as melodic modes, rhythms, and ornamentation, to create an impression of traditional music heard in Turkey.”

The performers will be School of Music students Katherine Isbill (flute), Constance Shepherd (violin), Romaric Pokorny (viola), and Lauren Vander Lind (cello).

A former Visiting Artist in Ethnomusicology (2000-2002) at the University of Washington, Dr. Beken will lead a seminar on world music theory in the second half of his appearance.



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