The Jannisary (Mehter) Band
Saturday, October 11, 2008
7 p.m. at the KSU Bailey Performance Center
Kennesaw State University
The Mehter or Ottoman military bands are thought to be the oldest variety of military marching band in the world. This music marked its arrival on the world stage many centuries ago as the Ottoman Empire was expanding into Europe. The pounding of the mighty Davul (drum) is said to have brought courage to the heart and strength to the feet of its weary soldiers. The powerful sound of the Naffir (trumpet) and Zuna (oboe) combined with the beating drum to hearten warriors and steady their march. With their bright jewel toned coats the band would send the army out to victory. Just as the strong music and beautiful costumes brought joy to the Ottoman Turks they also brought fear to the hearts of their enemies. The inspiring music is also known to have influenced the works of renowned composers such as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Today, the music of the Mehters is largely ceremonial evoking a sense of pride among the Turkish people.