Turqueric Influence in Mozart's Alla Turca

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Turquerie was the Orientalist fashion that arose during 16th to 18th century in Western Europe. It is a ‘French term used to describe artifacts made in Turkey, or in France by Turkish craftsmen, and by derivation the influence on French design of elements from the Byzantine Empire, the Saljuq Islamic period and the Ottoman Empire.’ 1 In music, the influence of Turkish culture in European society also spurred composers like Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven to write music with the used of Alla Turca style in 18th century. Alla Turca was being referred to the ‘Turkish music’, however it is not purely music of Turkey but rather as a musical style. The authenticity of the westernized ‘Turkish music’ is one of the exoticism issues which has been…show more content…
The crotchet always falls on the peak of the melody contour as well as the strong beat (2nd bar) to enhance the climax of the music. Harmonically speaking, the alla turca style was being presented in a very plain way. The construction of harmony is simple. It adheres very much to a repeated tonic-dominant polarity with the tonic-pedal point in cello part and dominant pedal point in second violin part. The tonic chord is mostly used while the dominant 7th only appeared on the 2nd beat of 3rd bar of each rhythmic pattern. The simple harmony progression gives a crude and static motion in music. Mozart’s opera ‘The Abduction to the Seraglio’ also capture the Turkish flavours with extra percussion and evoking of military Janissary bands of Turkey. The Turkish traits can be found in both overture and choruses. The Choruses, Act 1 No. 5 is known as Choruses of Janissaries. I will describe the characteristics of the alla turca topos in this opera. The instrumentation shows a great influence of Janissary band, it is called Batterie torque – the use of percussion instruments such as bass drums, cymbals, timpani and piccolo9. The both Janissary choruses of the Abduction of the Seraglio have the same instrumentation. Right now I am going to look into these traits deeper. The timpani and tamburo grande are to create thumping effect while the Piccolo that written in high pitch is to imitate the sorna to produce shrilling sound. The purpose of it is to stimulate the soldiers

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