AHMET ADNAN SAYGUN. A Turkish composer. The most important 20th century composers in TURKEY
  Turkish people and culture    Tourist sites    Videos of Turkey
Who is who ?

AHMED ADNAN SAYGUN. The most important 20th century composers in TURKEY


Ahmet Adnan Saygun (1907-1991) was an important Turkish composer, someone widely thought to be one of the most important composers of the 20th Century. Born in Izmir, Turkey, this composer and musicologist is a key figure in Turkish music history.

Saygun’s music is rooted in a combination of traditionally Turkish songs and Western musical practices. The bulk of Saygun’s work is in the neoclassical form. A prolific composer, he produced five symphonies, five operas, two piano concertos, and a range of chamber and choral works.

Though Saygun’s father bought him a piano while growing up in Izmir, he encouraged his son to find another line of work, one where he could make a living. Saygun began translating articles on music and teaching music at a primary school and then a boy’s lycée. In 1928, Saygun won a Ministry of Education competition, and it was because of this that he was able to study music in Paris.

From here, Saygun studied with Eugène Borrel and Schola Cantorum at the Paris Conservatoire. Here, he learned about Western culture and the cultural policies of Turkish President Atatürk while here. Saygun returned to Turkey in 1931 and taught training college for music teachers until 1934 when Atatürk asked him to write an opera to mark the state visit to Ankara of the Shah of Persia. This was followed by a second commissioned opera, Tas Bebek.



In 1939, Saygun was appointed inspector of the Halkevleri, social institutions throughout the country, and this allowed the composer to travel. Because of this, he was able to settle into his research of Turkish folk-music.

It was in 1942 that Saygun completed the oratorio Yunus Emre, which was based on the poems by the thirteenth century Sufi mystic. This is one of Saygun’s most well-known pieces. The piece would go on to be performed in many places, including, in 1958, in the United Nations General Assembly Hall.

From 1946 on, Saygun continued his career at the Ankara Conservatory, investing a great portion of his life in composing and his work as a ethnomusicologist.

Saygun’s ability to combine different musical forms while paying tribute to his country has made him an important figure in Turkish music history. His works, dedicated for the people of his country, are some of the most important in the Turkish canon.




Op.9 Ozsoy (tek perde / one act), 1934
Op.ll Tasbebek (tek perde / one act), 1934
Op.28 Kerem (uc perde / three acts), 1947-52
Op.52 Koroglu (uc perde / three acts), 1973
Op.65 Gilgamis, 1983


Op.17 Bir Orman Masali / A Forest Tale (koreografik suit / choreographic suite), 1939-43
Op.75 Kumru Efsanesi / A Legend, 1986-87

Voice and Orchestra

Op.3 Agitlar/ Laments (tenor solo ve erkekler korosu / tenor solo and male chorus), 1932
Op.6 Kizilirmak Turkusu / Folk Song (soprano), 1933
Op.16 Masal / Lied (bariton solo / baritone solo), 1940
Op.19 Eski Uslupta Kantat / Cantata in the Old Style (solistler ve koro / soloists and chorus), 1941
Op.21 Gecen Dakikalanm (bariton solo / baritone solo), 1941
Op.23 Dort Turku / Four Folk Songs, 1945
Op.26 Yunus Emre Oratoryosu / Yunus Emre Oratorio (solistler, koro, orkestra / soloists, chorus, orchestra), 1946
Op.41 On Turku / Ten Folk Songs, 1968
Op.54 Agitlar - Ikinci Defter/ Laments - Book II (tenor solo, erkekler korosu / tenor solo, male chorus), 1974
Op.60 Insan Uzerine Deyisler 1 / Mediations on Men 1, 1977
Op.61 Insan Uzerine Deyisler II / Mediations on Men II, 1977
Op.64 Insan Uzerine Deyisler IV/ Mediations on Men IV, 1978
Op.66 Insan Uzerine Deyisler V / Mediations on Men V, 1978
Op.67 Ataturk’e ve Anadolu’ya Destan / Epic on Ataturk and Anatolia, 1981
Op.63 Insan Uzerine Deyisler III / Mediations on Men III, 1983
Op.69 Insan Uzerine Deyisler VI / Mediations on Men VI, 1984


Op.l Divertimento (darbuka ve saksofonlu buyuk orkestra / large orchestra with saxophone and darbuka), 1930
Op.13 Sihir (ya da Buyu) Raksi / Magic Dance (Tasbebek Operasi’ndan bolum / movement from the Tasbebek Opera), 1934
Op.l4 Suit/Suite, 1936 Op.24 Halay, 1943
Op.l0/b Inci’nin Kitabi / Inci’s Book (orkestra uyarlamasi / symphonic arrangement), 1944
Op.29 Birinci Senfoni / SymphonyNo.l, 1953
Op.30 Ikinci Senfoni / Symphony No.2, 1958
Op.39 Ucuncu Senfom / Symphony No.3, 1960
Op.49 Deyis / Dictum (yayli calgilar / strings), 1970
Op.53 Dorduncu Senfoni / Symphony No.4, 1974
Op.57 Ayin Raksi / Ritual Dance, 1975
Op.62 Concerto da Camera (yayli calgilar / strings), 1978
Op.70 Besinci Senfoni / Symphony No.5, 1985
Op.72 Cesitlemeler/Variations, 1985


Op.34 Birinci Piyano Koncertosu / Concerto for Piano No.l, 1952-58
Op.44 Keman Koncertosu / Concerto for Violin, 1967
Op.59 Viyola Koncertosu / Concerto for Viola, 1977
Op.71 Ikinci Piyano Koncertosu / Concerto for Piano No. 2,1985
Op.74 Viyolonsel Koncertosu / Concerto for Violoncello, 1987

Chamber Music

Op.4 Sezisler / Intuitions (iki klarinet / two clarinets), 1933
Op.8 Vurma Sazli Kuvartet / Percussion Quartet (klarinet, saksofon, vurma calgi, piyano / clarinet, saxophone, percussion instrument, piano), 1933
Op.12 Sonat / Sonata (piyano ve viyolonsel / piano and violoncello), 1935
Op.20 Sonat / Sonata (piyano ve keman / piano and violin), 1941
Op.27 Birinci Yayli Sazlar Kuvarteti / String Quartet No.l, 1947
Op.33 Demet (keman ve piyano icin suit / suite for violin and piano), 1955
Op.35 Ikinci Yayli Sazlar Kuvarteti / String Quartet No.2, 1957
Op.37 Trio (obua, klarinet, arp / oboe, clarinet, harp), 1966
Op.43 Ucuncu Yayli Sazlar Kuvarteti / String Quartet No.3, 1966
Op.46 Nefesli Sazlar îcin Kentet / Quintet for Wind Instruments, 1968
Op.50 Uc Prelud / Three Preludes (iki arp / two harps), 1971
Op.55 Trio (obua, klarinet, piyano / oboe, clarinet, piano), 1975
Op.68 Dort Arp icin Uc Turku / Three Folk Songs for Four Harps, 1983
Op.78 Dorduncu Yayli Calgilar Kuvarteti / String Quartet No.4 (iki bolum / two movements), 1990

Voice and Piano

Op.32 Uc Balad / Three Ballades, 1955
Op.48 Dort Ezgi / Four Melodies, 1977


Op.2 Suit / Suite, 1931
Op.l0/a Inci’nin Kitabi / Inci’s Book, 1934
Op.15 Sonatina, 1938 Op.25 Anadolu’dan / From Anatolia, 1945
Op.51 Kucuk Seyler / Short Things, 1950-52
Op.38 Aksak Tartilar Uzerine On Etud / Ten Etudes on “Aksak” Rhythms, 1964
Op.45 Aksak Tartilar Uzerine On îki Prelud / Twelve Preludes on “Aksak” Rhythms, 1967
Op.47 Aksak Tartilar Uzerine On Bes Parca / Fifteen Pieces on “Aksak” Rhythms, 1967
Op.56 Ballade (iki piyano / two pianos), 1975
Op.58 Aksak Tartilar Uzerine
On Taslak / Ten Sketches on “Aksak” Rhythms, 1976
Op.73 Uc Piyano icin Poem / Poem for Three Pianos, 1986
Op.76 Iki Piyano icin Poem / Poem for Two Pianos, 1989
Op.77 Piyano Sonati / Piano Sonata, 1990

Solo Instrument

Op.31 Partita (viyolonsel / violoncello), 1954
Op.36 Partita (keman/violin), 1961


Op.5 Manastir Turkusu / Folk Song, 1933 Op.7 Coban Armagam, 1933
Op.42 Duyuslar / Impressions (uc kadin sesi / three female voices), 1935
Op.18 Daglardan Ovalardan, 1939
Op.22 Bir Tutam Kekik, 1943


Turk Halk Musikisinde Pentatonizm / Pentatonism in Turkish Folk Music, Istanbul, 1936
Rize, Artvin ve Kars Havalisi, Turku, Saz ve Oyun Havalan /Some Local Instruments and Folk Dances, Istanbul, 1937
Yedi Karadeniz Turkusu ve Bir Horon / Seven Folk Songs and a Folk Dance From the Black Sea, Istanbul, 1938
Halkevlerinde Musiki / Music in “Halkevleri”, Ankara, 1940
Yalan (sanat konusmalan / discussions in the field of art), Ankara, 1945
Karacaoglan, Ankara, 1952
Lise Muzik Kitabi (1-2-3) / Music Book for Lycee (three volumes) (Halil Bedi Yonetken ile / with Halil Bedi Yonetken),Ankara, 1955
Musiki Nazariyati / Theory of Music (dort cilt / four volumes), Ankara Devlet Konservatuvan Yayim, 1 (1958), II (1962), III (1964), IV (1966)
“La Musique Turque”, Pleyel Edition, Muzik Ansiklopedisi, Muzik Tarihi Serisi Cilt I, Paris, 1960
“La genie de la melodie” (Zoltan Kodaly’in Yuzuncu Yili Nedeniyle / About Zoltan Kodaly), Budapeste / Budapest, 1962
Turk ve Macar Muzigi Ustune Calismalar / Studies on Turkish and Hungarian Music, Budapeste / Budapest, 1964
Toresel Musiki, Ankara, 1967
Toplu Solfej / Solfeggio (iki cilt / two volumes), Ankara, 1968
Folk Music Research in Turkey (Bela Bartok ile birlikte / with Bela Bartok), Budapeste / Budapest, 1976
Ataturk ve Musiki / Ataturk and Music, Sevda Cenap And Vakfi Muzik Yayinlan, Ankara, 1981
Pedagoji Alamnda Calismalar / About Music Instruction




1. About Turkey
2. Regions and cities
3. Activities in Turkey
4. Webcam - Live HD
5. Health tourism
6. Entertainment
7. Tips for travelers
8. Tour operators
9. Book a hotel
10. Turkish Press List


Webmaster Link to us Privacy Policy Links Contacs us 
   Do you have comment on this page? Do you have question ? Write below...
    comment(s) left so far.
 Turkey's most popular tourist destinations : Share this page with your friends :
Bitez beach
Burgaz Island