Mesut Cemil

Tambur Sanatçısı, Müzisyen

31 Ekim, 1963
İstanbul Sultanîsi (Istanbul High School)

Musician, composer, and master tambour player (B. December 1902, Istanbul – D. October 31st, 1963, Istanbul) He was the son of Tamburî Cemil Bey. Even though he used “Tel” (cord) as his surname for a while, he soon gave it up. He spent his childhood in the musical environment of his father; however, he didn't receive a music education. While he was a student at İstanbul Sultanîsi (Istanbul High School), he began to get acquainted with the Western music by getting violin lessons from Daniel-Fitzinger at the age of thirteen. Later on, he kept on with lessons by Karl Berger.

He worked on tambour with Cemil Bey, Kadı Fuat Efendi, and Refik Fersan. He benefited from Refik Talat Alpman in the matter of general music knowledge. While he was enhancing his knowledge on mode and tempo, he learned “Hampartsoum” notation system in the meantime. Upon he was seventeen, he had become a tambour player. Cemil Bey, who began to appear on stage in the concerts of Şark Musiki Cemiyeti, Ali Rifat Çağatay being the principal conductor, worked with masters such as Rauf Yekta, Zekâizade Ahmet Efendi, Abdülbaki Baykara, Neyzen Emin Efendi as well as keep performing at Mevlevi Lodges. He learned the tambour technique and manner also known as “Oskiyan manner” from Suphi Ezgi, which was derived from Tamburî İzak and brought down by his father. He kept learning Western music through cello and violin lessons. After he listened to Şerif Muhittin Targan playing the cello, he began to spend most of his time on exercises with this instrument.

He went to Germany, thereby dropping out of Darülfünün Law School (Istanbul University Law School). He became a student of the cello teacher Hugo Becker at Berlin Music Academy. During his education in Germany, he deepened his knowledge on general music knowledge and music history and culture as well as advancing his cello playing. After two and a half years, in 1924, he had to return to his homeland due to financial difficulties and his mother's illness. Next year, he became a tambour, solfeggio and theories teacher at Darülelhan (Istanbul Municipal Conservatory). He started to work in İstanbul Radio in 1927, when the first radio broadcasting began under the Türk Telsiz ve Telefon Şirketi (T.N. Turkish Radio and Telephone Company). Henceforward, he joined the broadcast as a cellist and tambour player while he worked on the every area of radio broadcasting as a narrator, broadcaster, music publications chief, manager of Ankara and İstanbul radios, and as the advocate in general.

Mesut Cemil founded the “Classical Choir” at Ankara Radio for the first time. He led the way for studies on the appreciation of folk music. He completed his higher education by graduating from the Turkish Language and Literature Department of the Faculty of Languages, History and Geography while he was in Ankara. He taught cello at Ankara Gazi Terbiye Institute, the history of Classical Turkish Music and cello at Ankara State Conservatory, Musical Folklore at İstanbul Municipal Conservatory. He gave music lessons in high schools.

Mesut Cemil represented Turkey with Rauf Yekta Bey at the Congress of Arabic Music, held in Cairo in 1932. He contributed the studies of İstanbul Municipal Conservatory on the determination of the notes of classical works carried by the Organization and Determination Council. He worked at the Fine Arts Academy in Baghdad for four years upon the invitation of Iraqi government in 1955. Even though he retired in 1960, he continued to be the principal conductor at İstanbul Radio. In the published memoirs of his colleagues, it is told that one day, rushing through the halls of İstanbul Radio, Mesut Cemil explained excitedly that Bach and Itri had given voice to the same thing. That proved his great music culture and high perception level. Mesut Cemil Bey was also one of those who had discovered great folk poet Âşık Veysel Şatıroğlu. He became a source of inspiration to Necdet Yaşar, one of the biggest tambour players.

He is regarded as one of the most equipped and the most talented musicians in Turkish Classical Music Turkey brought up in recent years. His essays and radio speeches, which contributed to the development of musical culture, are noteworthy. Among his best known compositions are “Kanatları Gümüş Yavru Bir Kuş” (Nihavent fantasy), “Martılar Atı Eder Çırpar Kanat” (tune Hejaz), “Çargâh Türk Raksı”, “Nihavent Saz Semaisi” and “Şehnaz Sirto”. The composer published a book after his father named “Tamburi Cemil Bey’in Hayatı” (1947). His grave is placed in Sahray-ı Cedit Cemetery.



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