Koroglu

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Koroglu is a dance tune in a five-beat rhythm (2+3) that was well-known to the farming populations of Asia Minor and the Aydın area in particular. In Turkish, “köroğlu”means “the son of the blind man” and the reference is to a famous troubadour whose reputation spread from Asia Minor as far as the Caucasus, Persia, and Central Asia. According to folk traditions and a famous epic narrative song also called “Koroglu” (possibly dating from the sixteenth century), the hero was a kind of Robin Hood figure who opposed the rich and the authorities and helped the poor. He thus assumed heroic proportions in the popular mind, although it is not possible to identify him with any specific historical personage. The legendary figure of Kioroglu took on flesh and blood (to some extent) in the twentieth century in the person of the zeïmbekis Çakırcalı Mehmet Efe (1872-1912), better known as Çakıcı. The lengthy sung narrative of Koroglu is particularly closely associated with the Ashik, the itinerant singers of Asia Minor. Apart from the instrumental form in which it is usually played, this tune also seems to have been used to set various words in a wide range of languages, and its narrative flow is often interrupted by interpolations of lyrical songs of the day.

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