Composer of classical Turkish art music, vocal artist (B. 15th April 1895, Istanbul – D. 3rd February 1961). In one of the statements he made, he determined his date of birth as 1893. His father was Ali Alaeddin Efendi, who was one of the hodjas of the Fatih Mosque, and his mother was Havva Hanım. He completed his primary and secondary education in Istanbul Aksaray and since he graduated from the Faculty of Theology, he was known as “Hafiz”. The beauty of his voice took the attention of his entourage in his young ages and he received lessons from Hafiz Melek Efendi. He learned notes and tempo from Kazım Uz, who was a music teacher in Darüşşafaka Cemiyeti, and he also improved himself on the subjects of hymnody and “fasil” by virtue of Şeyh Cemal Efendi.
Since he didn’t know notes in the first years of his composition career, other people transcribed his compositions into notes. After that, without taking lessons from anyone, he improved himself by transcribing the productions he knew to notes. He made his military service in Diyarbakır in the year of 1912 as an “Officer of Theology”. He went to provinces such as Elazığ, Harput, Malatya and Mardin during the years of his military service and he returned back to Istanbul after his military service. Sadettin Bey went to Berlin in 1926 and in Vienna, Paris and Milan in various dates in order to record albums.
The folkloric structure of the productions of the artist attracted the attention. The artist examined thoroughly the regional motives of the folk music and created a unique form (structure) by using his style having a characteristic between song and ballad. He composed productions in maqams such as Hüseyni, Gerdaniye and Muhayyer by being inspired by the structure of the unmetered folk songs and the melody of Hoyrat, which were the properties of the vicinities he visited. He also composed the poems of precious folk poets such as Yunus Emre, Karacaoğlan and Erzurumlu Emrah and anonymous folk melodies in this form. To put it simply, he created a unique form by adding various motives to the folk music and by gathering the poetic properties of the Turkish art music.
Sadettin Kaynak was one of the biggest people and composers of the Classical Turkish Art Music of the XX Century. He created melodies leaving deep and lasting marks in the ears of the community that are able to answer to every type of humanity situation. It is possible to find more than one tempo within one song in the classical compositions of Kaynak. Besides, he showed the mastership of using two modes in his composition named “Dertliyim, Ruhuma Hicranımı” (Lyrics: Vecdi Bingöl) that has a unique place in our music. He started this production with the Segâh maqam and finished it with the Nihavent maqam. This song that was composed as a movie song in 1921 has also a rich theme in terms of mode. The song starts as free, continues as düyek and yürük semai and ends as düyek.
Kaynak gave to Safiye Ayla the disk, radio and concert copyrights of the song “Çile Bülbülüm Çile”, which he composed in the year of 1932 and sung by Safiye Ayla in those years, and he was remembered with this song. The lyrics of this song, which is in the Muhayyer maqam, belonged to Vecdi Bingöl:
In the magazine Hayat that was published twelve days after the death of Sadettin Kaynak (16th February 1961), Orhan Tahsin announced the testament of Kaynak. The following were written in the last part of this testament prepared on the date of 16th December 1958:
The followings are the principal compositions of Sadettin Kaynak that are very famous and still being sung: Benim Yârim Gelişinden Bellidir, Tel Tel Taradım, Kara Bulutları Kaldır Aradan, Muhabbet Bağına Girdim Bu Gece, Dertliyim Ruhuma Hicranımı, İncecikten Bir Kar Yağar, Çile Bülbülüm Çile, Ben Güzele Güzel Demem, Enginde Yavaş Yavaş, Gönül Nedir Bilene Gönül Veresim Gelir, Leyla Bir Özge Candır, Niçin Baktın Bana Öyle, Leylakların Hayali, Bir Rüzgârdır Gelir Geçer Sanmıştım, Ela Gözlerine Kurban Olduğum, Yanık Ömer.