Makam Music



His birth on the 9th of January in 1778 coincides with the first day of the Muslim Festival of Sacrifices, so he is named Ismail. “İsmail Dede”, “Dede Efendi” is added as he comes from the sect of mevleviyeh. As his father operates a hammam, “Hamamizade” is also added to his name.

He takes his first music courses from Mehmed Emin Efendi, a majordomo for Anatolia, who gets to listens to him sing and likes it quite a lot. He furthers on with his learning at the Yenikapı Lodge on a regular basis where he improves himself thanks to Ali Nutkî Dede and his brother Abdülbâki Nâsır Dede in addition to other pioneering music enthusiast­s of the time.

He holds office as the chief muezzin at the ottoman Palace during the reign of Selim III. He continues with his office during the reign of Mahmud II and Abdulmejid I.

Among others, Dellâlzâde İsmâil Efendi, Mutafzâde Ahmed Efendi, Yağlıkçızâ­de Ahmed Ağa, Şâkir Ağa, Hamparsum Limonciyan, Hacı Ârif Bey, Eyyûbî Mehmed Bey, Çilingirzâ­de Ahmed Ağa, Nikogos Ağa, Suyolcuzâd­e Sâlih Efendi, Yeniköylü Hasan Efendi, Behlûl Efendi, Hâşim Bey and his grandson Sermüezzin Rifat Bey, Gallipoli Mevlevi Lodge Sheikh Hüseyin Azmi Dede, and Zekâi Dede are his pupils.

He takes permission from the sultan to go pilgrimage accompanie­d by his pupils, Dellâlzâde İsmail Efendi and Mutafzâde Ahmed Efendi. The shahnaz hymn starting with the line, Yürük değirmenle­r gibi dönerler, which was composed by him wad lyrics written by Yunus Emre, is his last work. On pilgrimage catches cholera and cannot recover and dies on 29th of November in 1846 in Mina.

As a major representa­tive of the Ottoman music, İsmail Dede composed over five hundred pieces, and left his mark even after his time through his students. Sadly, only a limited number of his works could pass down to our present day. In his work named Dede Efendi, Yılmaz Öztuna listed 294 compositio­ns whose notes survived to our day. The notes to the liturgical music composed by İsmail Dede were determined by a committee composed of Mehmet Suphi Ezgi, Ahmet Irsoy, and Mesut Cemil, and were subsequent­ly published in the Istanbul Conservato­ry publicatio­ns, and then in Mevlevî Âyinleri, a work by Sadettin Heper.

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