The Emergence of Music as a “Profession” in Turkey

Location Online

Date and time Tuesday 10 May 2022
16:00 - 17:30 (London GMT)
19:00 - 20:30 (Ankara UTC+3)

Speakers Audrey M. Wozniak
Harvard University - BIAA-ANAMED Fellow

Event Summary

In the early 20th century, the choir’s introduction to Turkish classical music-making was seen to support broader social reforms aimed at modernizing self-Westernization. Turkish classical music choirs have since created new models of musical patronage, transmission, and sociality, as well as a new class of “professional” musician with economic power and cultural influence. Now, musicians instrumentalize the concepts “profesyonel” (“professional”) and “amatör” (“amateur”) as status markers to enforce a hierarchy that arbitrates which musicians have enough status to transmit a form of national culture. This lecture seeks to demonstrate longstanding modes of musical engagement that defy categorization within an amateur-professional dichotomy as well as how music’s professionalization serves a role within a broader nation-building project. 

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Event Speakers

Audrey M. Wozniak

Harvard University - BIAA-ANAMED Fellow

Audrey M. Wozniak is an ethnomusicologist who writes about discursive and material constructions of kinship and the state. As a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University, she is currently researching the relationship between the state and civil society in Turkey through examining the emergence of the choir in Turkish classical music communities within the country and its and its diaspora. Her academic and journalistic writing has been published in in Urban People, Applied Linguistics Review, Georgetown Journal of Asian Affairs, China Dialogue, TimeOut Hong Kong, and ABC News. Wozniak is also an accomplished violinist and performer of Western and Turkish classical music. Her publications and performances can be found at