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
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
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.