Cinuçen Tanrıkorur

Udi, Müzisyen

20 Şubat, 1938
28 Haziran, 2000
Academy of Fine Arts (Mimar Sinan University)

Composer, oud virtuoso (B. February 20th, 1938, Fatih / Istanbul – D. June 28th, 2000, Istanbul). His father was Zaferşan Tanrıkorur. His name means “victorious, triumphant” in Kazan Turkish. He took his first music lessons at his early ages from his mother, Adalet Hanım, who was a student of violinist-composer Mustafa Sunar. He started his real music education when he was three, with the practice lessons he took from his uncle Mecdinevin Tanrıkorur, who was a student of Münir Nurettin Selçuk at the Department of Turkish Music at Istanbul Municipal Conservatory. During his primary school years, he was able to sing yürük semaî in Suzidilâra maqam of Sultan Selim III and he was able to recite poems of great poets in addition to Mehmet Akif’s poem “Çanakkale Şehitlerine”. He learnt to play oud and later to compose by himself. He developed a unique style, close to the tone of classic tambour, to achieve more melody with lesser plectrum stroke. He was also one of the students of Saim Konakçı and well-known performers Gülçin Yahya and Başak İlhan.

While he was fourteen, he composed “Ferahnâk” saz semai and a poem that belongs to Fuzulî in “Şevkefzâ” maqam. In addition to the modes he formed and named “Şeddisabâ”, “Zavilaşîran” and “Gülbûse”, he composed classical “fasıl” sets from many different maqams. When his desire to continue studying music after graduating from İtalyan Lisesi (T.N. Italian High School) was confronted by his father’s reaction he started studying high architecture by enrolling to Academy of Fine Arts (Mimar Sinan University). After 1973 He continued his work life as an urban planner-architect at the Ministry of Reconstruction and Settlement and then worked at different positions in TRT (T. N. Turkish Radio and Television).

Tanrıkorur was appointed as the TRT Ankara Radio Turkish Classical Music Department Chief in 1973. After resigning his office here in 1982, he founded the Music Education Department affiliated to Konya Selçuk University Education Faculty. In United States where he went to in 1989 in order to receive treatment, he composed a hundred and seventeen works. He gave lectures in Maryland and Princeton universities. In addition, his two long articles were published on the magazine “Turkish Music Quarterly”. Here, by keeping to the suggestion of his teacher Garino he constantly wrote letters in Ottoman script to his friends in order to develop the script he had learned, furthermore he took calligraphy lessons from the American calligraphist Muhammet Zekeriya.

Cinuçen Tanrıkorur, received the first prize in the composition contest organized by Konya Tourism Association with his composition “Bayatîarabân Âyin-i Şerîfi”. The same work was awarded with golden medal by Akademie Internationale de Lutece in Paris in 1981. In 1982, he had married with Chinese-Jamaican art historian Şermin Barihüda Tanrıkorur (Charmaine Angela Moo) in Miami, United States. He died in Marmara University Hospital, where he was receiving treatment.

Cinuçen Tanrıkorur, who earned a significant reputation with his performance with oud, was one of a kind oud player with his playing style and technique. Many oud players adopted his style. Şerif Muhittin’s technique is more of a Western technique; his performance is based on major-minor relationship in Western music instead of being based on maqams. Nevres Bey has a softer performance without rough plectrum movements. Cinuçen Tanrıkorur’s style is an oud performance that is closer to tambour. His left hand is more effective than his right hand in his execution; the fact that the strings of the ouds he played are closer to each other than those of average ouds is an indicator to this. The tones he creates on the neck with his left hand are not easily achievable for many oud players. There is no rapid or fast playing (agility) neither in his improvisations nor when he performs pieces. Tanrıkorur is also a significant composer. He has many compositions in many forms such as prelude, saz semai, ağir semai, yürük semai, composition, kâr-ı natık, hymns, songs and many more.

Tanrıkorur, who is the author of numerous articles on Turkish music and the first ever Western method of oud and who could speak English, French, Italian, Latin and a little Arabic, has many reports and lectures that he gave in seminars organized within Turkey and abroad. As far as it is known the number of works that he had composed is over five hundred. His songs Günaydınım and Turnalar, which were composed by him in Kürdilihicazkâr maqam and written by Feyzi Halıcı, and his Hüseyni saz semai called Köyde Sabah are his most known works. Furthermore, his compositions such as Şedd-i Sabâ, Zâvil-Aşîran, Gülbûse, Bayatî-Araban, Evcâra, Zâvil-Aşîran, Nişâburek and Kâr-ı Nev’eda are also very famous. He composed the poems Fuzûlî’s Müseddesi and Yahyâ Kemal’s Süleymaniye’de Bayram Sabahı and created the soundtrack of the film Kiralık Konak.

In addition, he has naat, rest, şuğul and hymns and saz (T.N.  stringed instrument) music pieces in classical and new forms and compositions awarded both within Turkey and abroad. Tanrıkorur, who was the first Turkish classical music artist with a long-play record by the French radio, performed solo oud and vocal recitals in twenty two countries from Thailand to US, Sweden to Saudi Arabia and Morocco on invitation and had also two published books.

Tanrıkorur is the second composer after Münir Nurettin Selçuk to compose the greatest number of poems of the great poet Yahya Kemal Beyatlı. The compositions he had composed on Yahya Kemal’s poems were performed in a special concert in 1996.


Müzik Kimliğimiz Üzerine Düşünceler (1998), Biraz da Müzik (2001).

REFERENCE: Cinucen Tanrıkorur / Biraz da Müzik (Nisan 2001) - Müzik Kimliğimiz Üzerine Düşünceler (1998), Beşir Ayvazoğlu / Şairler ve Bestekârlar (Zaman gazetesi, 8 Kasım 1996), Hilmi Yavuz / Gelenek Müzik ve Tanrıkorur (Zaman gazetesi, 21 Mayıs 1996) - İkinci Ölüm Yıldönümünde Cinuçen Tanrıkorur (Zaman gazetesi, 28 Haziran 2002), Sait Başer / Tanrıkorur’un Besteleri veya Kırık Bir Destan (Zaman gazetesi, 19 Şubat 1996), Mehmet Eryılmaz / O Şafak Vaktinin Cihangiri (Belgesel film, 1995), İhsan Işık / Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (2006, 2007) - Ünlü Sanatçılar (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 5, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013). 


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