Greek Orthodox Music in Ottoman Istanbul:

Nation and Community in the Era of Reform

By Merih Erol
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Indiana University Press, 2015

ISBN 978-0-253-01833-5

288 Pages


Debates about music formed a significant cultural and artistic arena in which the Greek community of late Ottoman Istanbul defined itself as a distinct group--the largest non-Muslim minority within the multiethnic population of the Empire, at a time when Ottoman policy toward minority groups was being contested from without and within. Merih Erol explores the discourse on music and modernity articulated by the Greek Orthodox educated elite in relation to broader issues of cultural identity and competing visions of the Greek past, present, and future.


Ethnomusicology Multimedia Series Preface



A Note on Pronunciation and Transliteration

1. The City’s Greek Orthodox: An Overview
2. Liturgical Music and the Middle Class
3. Confronting the Musical Past
4. The Music Debate and Tradition
5. Music and National Identity
6. Singing and Political Allegiance





Merih Erol is currently a senior fellow at Koç University's Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations in Istanbul. In 2014, she was Onassis Foundation Visiting Faculty at the Department of History, Boğaziçi University. Previously, she was a visiting scholar at Harvard University, The Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. She held postdoctoral fellowships at the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, Princeton University, and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. As an amateur musician, she sang in the choir of 'Emin Ongan' Üsküdar Musıki Cemiyeti ('Emin Ongan' Üsküdar Musical Society). She also plays the qanun.