EUME Berliner Seminar
Mi 18 Nov 2020 | 17:00–18:30

On Digitalization, Cultural Omnivorousness and Appropriation: Turkish Psychedelic Music

Yaprak Melike Uyar (Freie Universität Berlin), Chair: Yektan Türkyilmaz (EUME Fellow 2017-21)

In cooperation with AL.Berlin and Bulbul Berlin

Illustration by Yeşim Paktin.
Illustration by Yeşim Paktin.

The paradigm shift in the music mediation techniques transformed not only the ways how we consume music, but also the processes that produce musical tastes and how we define and give meaning to music. This presentation explores Turkish psychedelic music under the concepts such as digitalization, cultural appropriation, and cultural omnivorousness. Anatolian pop, a hybrid genre raised in Turkey in the 1960s, brought Anatolian folk together with psychedelic rock, soul, funk, and disco. After the 1980 military coup, Anatolian pop experienced a dramatic decline as many recordings were destroyed under the new political and cultural oppression, while others were forgotten. With the nostalgic interest in bringing local music back to the scene and the revival of vinyl culture, Turkish popular music from the 60s and 70s has been resurrected in the new millennium, creating new spaces of performance. At the turn of the century, Anatolian pop acquired a new label in the global music market: “Turkish psychedelic”. With the aid of an ethnography conducted with the participant-observer technique, in-depth interviews with the insiders of the scene, and discography analysis, this talk intends to analyze Anatolian pop’s reinvention under the title of Turkish psychedelic music in the transnational popular music industry.


Yaprak Melike Uyar is an ethnomusicologist. Her main research interests are jazz and popular musics of Turkey, and the music of the Mevlevi Order of Sufism. With her dissertation on Jazz in Turkey: The Cultural Connotations and the Processes of Localization, she earned her PhD degree in musicology from the Turkish Music State Conservatory of Istanbul Technical University. She completed her MA degree in ethnomusicology at ITU MIAM, with a thesis on The Commodification of Whirling Dervish Rituals. Yaprak Melike is also a DJ, performing at various venues of Istanbul with an eclectic genre selection ranging from afro-beat to disco, psychedelia to jazz. She hosted radio programs at Turkish National Radio, Acik Radio, and Radio Adidas Originals. Currently, she is an Academy in Exile Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin in the Critical Thinking Residency Program. In the summer semesters, she delivers a course entitled Modernization and Hybridity: Musics of Turkey at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

In accordance with the measures against the spread of the coronavirus, this seminar session will be held virtually via ZOOM. Please register in advance via eume(at) to receive the login details. Depending on approval by the speakers, the Berliner Seminar will be recorded. All audio recordings of the Berliner Seminar are available via the account of the Forum Transregionale Studien on SoundCloud.

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