I spent a week in Istanbul and took the opportunity to record some of the music I heard. This was my first visit to Istanbul, but hopefully not the last. The city is one of the most vibrant and dynamic places I have ever been.
The first recording was made on the street just below Tunel, in Beyoglu. After hearing something from the window of our flat I ran down to see what it was. Unfortunately I could not see the group as they were performing in a courtyard, but the sound was rather intense regardless and it was clear that everyone inside was dancing. I asked about this recording at a local music shop and was told it was Turkish gypsy music. The next recording is the Sufi music that accompanied the Mevlevi round dance (aka the Whirling Dervishes). The entire 1 hour ceremony is posted here. Despite being a sort of tourist attraction, this was still something beautiful to experience.
Turkish Gypsy music (13:15) Istanbul, May 2007:
Mevlevi Sufi music (56:20) Istanbul, May 2007:
For those curious about the tech specs, this was recorded on a Edirol R-09 using the built-in microphones. The quality is passable. The Whirling Dervishes was done mainly for tourists so you will also hear some chatter and beeps from digital cameras (rather annoying for someone who really wants to listen deeply).