Musician, composer, poet (B. 1630?,
Itri was patronized by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet
IV firstly. He took part in the musical acts held in palace as the soloist,
additionally he became famous his compositions. He became a teacher and
songster (reader, singer) of the Enderun (
At first, he wrote poems according to the tradition of Divan Literature, and he composed the poems of poets Naili and Nabi, whom he was influenced by. Among these were odes, naats, nazires, couplets and songs that evoked the idea of history as well as the folk songs written in syllabic meter. The Divan of Itri, who composed more than a thousand works on religious and non-religious issues, is lost. Along with being a musician, he took calligraphy lessons from Siyahi Ahmet Efendi. The “Ta’lik” writing samples he wrote was located in the lyrics that his master Hâfız Post added.
Itri’s composition and his great contribution to Turkish classical music with his works are a common opinion among researchers. He stylized the Turkish genre in Ottoman era with his compositions, had been one of the pioneer composers in the development of classical Turkish music with Abdülkadir Merâgi and Dede Efendi. The “Nevakâr” which comes first in his non-religious works was composed over a lyric of Hafız. This work held an originality with its maqam and style structure and meticulous labor. In addition, it is considered as the best representative of the classical style, one of the most quintessential examples. However, unfortunately, none of the non-religious works composed by him in small forms has survived to present.
It is said that the rule of changing the maqam during the Tarawih prayers in mosques was placed by Itri. The “Segâh Kurban Bayramı Tekbiri” sung in holiday prayers, the “Segâh Salât-ı Ümmiye” sung during the visit to the holy relics, “Mâye Cuma Salâtı” and “Dilkeşhâveran Gece Salâtı” continue to carry a unique power of art in the Turkish music and Islamic world as the art works that didn’t lose anything of their impacts for over three hundred years.
Segâh Kurban Bayramı Tekbiri, Segâh Salât-ı Ümmiye, Dilkeşhâveran Gece Salâtı, Mâye Cuma Salâtı, Segâh Mevlevi Ayini, Rast Darb-ı Türkî Naat ve Sofyan Tevşih, Nühüft Durak, Nühüft İlahî, Nühüft Tevşih, Neva Kâr, İki Pençgâh Beste, Mahur Ağır Aksak Semai, Rehavî Berefşan Beste, Buselik Hafif Beste ve Yürük Semai, Segâh Ağır Semai, Segâh Yürük Semai, Bayatî Çember Beste, Bestenigâr Darb-ı Fetih Beste, Dügâh Hafif Beste, Isfahan Zincir Beste ve Ağır Aksak Semai, Nikriz Muhammes Beste, Râhatu'l Ervah Zincir Beste, Irak Aksak Semai, Rast Aksak Semai, Nühüft Aksak Semai, Acemaşiran Yürük Semai, Rehavî Peşrev, Nühüft Peşrev ve Saz Semaisi, are the most famous works of Itrî in many of his compositions. The powerful and divine composition of “Tekbir”, which is sung in Islamic holidays, belongs to him as well.
According to Shaykh al-Islam Esad Effendi, Itri was a very productive composer who composed more than a thousand compositions. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these works were lost due to the absence of recording, only around forty compositions could survive to the present day. According to the information given by Müstakimzade, Itri was buried in the Yenikapı Mevlevi Loudge when he was dead. The Divan poet Şeyhi also confirmed this information; however the gravestone of Itri is missing in our day.
“Itrî is the composer of melodies that come from the sky; while his compositions are sung, the vision of wider horizons, open seas, endless greens waving with the warm breath of the winds, prosperity, abundance and the pleasing deepness of divine thoughts lives in my dream...”
"When I hear the name of Itrî, my head straightens up and I look above as if I am searching his soul in the skies." (Safiye Ayla)
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