THE WORLD'S LARGEST DIGITAL NOTES ARCHIVE MADE BY A SINGLE PERSON
Aytaç Ergen's story with the notes started in 1977 when
Emin Ongan from Üsküdar Musical Community asked him to arrange the library. While he starts to work as a 'Vocal Artist' for TRT, he learns from Erol Sayan, the library chief of the time, what the card index at the note library is used for (because there is nobody to write on). He goes to see Abdullah Özman, the Branch Manager of the time, and asks for permission as he wants to arrange the TRT Istanbul Radio library with the help of 'Intern Artist' friends. He gets to work instantly. Filiz Şatıroğlu, Serhat Sarpel, Hasan Semerkantlı, Melihat Gülses, and Hamiyet help him a lot that summer. That year he meets Cüneyt Kosal, who works as a qanun player for the radio, and whom he will love as a father soon. He gets to see Cüneyt Kosal's archive that he defines as "the world's biggest personal visual note and manuscript archive" after that of Muallim İsmail Hakkı Bey. In 1992 he starts to make use of the benefits of technology and transfers the notes to a computeraided medium.
We are happy to introduce you an artist with the world's biggest personal digital notes archive. He will be telling us about the story behind the archive.
Figures first if you like. How many of the pieces have notes in your archive?
I keep 97700 notes for 55450 compositions of the Turkish music in my archive. As for the folk music, 8750 pieces are with notes. There are different versions of classical ones from various model strains and sufi pieces as well which are sung differently at different convents. The late Flute Player Doğan Ergin called these different notes 'flowers of the compositions'.
How did you manage to collect all these notes?
My father, R.I.P, was a petty officer and he played flute. The early notes that I collected were my father’s from Gölcük Music Society. The number increased as I arranged the note libraries at Üsküdar Musical Community and TRT Istanbul Radio, and it hit the top when I met the late Cüneyt Kosal actually. Also Turhan Taşan made no small contributions as he shared with me the present time compositions while he was working at MESAM (the Musical Work Owners' Society in Turkey).
Türk Müziğine ait 55450 bestenin 97700 notası arşivimde bulunuyor.
I have got 97700 notes for 55450 compositions of the Turkish music in my archive.
We know that you benefit from the archives. Are there any archives yet to emerge and maybe notes of unheard pieces in them?
I checked a substantial part of Muallim İsmail Hakkı Bey collection, composed of 380 manuscripts in 1992 when I transferred the TRT Repertoire book to a computeraided system. It was timedemanding to transfer the entire notes archive of Cüneyt Kosal, and the notes from Muallim İsmail Hakkı Bey to that system, so I could not have the time to go through the "Vecihe Daryal" archive, which is composed of 180 books and folders kept at the "Ottoman Archives". I know that there are many pieces that are waiting to come to light in the “Vecihe Daryal” archive, which is a particularly important archive.
The enthusiasts can obtain this enormous notes archive in two DVDs from you. For how long have you been working on this project?
My wife, Nuran Ergen, is a computer programmer. She encouraged me when I was typing the TRT Repertoire book in 1992. This is how the "Nota Data" program came into life. It is the product of a 27-year hard-work, and still going on with the same enthusiasm.
Is it possible to use your note program in another country? Is it difficult for those that do not speak Turkish?
There are many users of “Nota Data” abroad. I made Turkish characters harmonized with the English alphabet so that the users find the notes easily. I also prepared a user manual in English. How can people get in touch with you?
I am on social media. Aytaç Ergen on Facebook, @aytacergen on Twitter, ergenaytac on Instagram. They can e-mail me at aytac_ergen@hotmail.