Yesari Asim Arsoy (Bey), born in 1900 in present-day Drama, Macedonia, was a legendary composer and singer of Turkish folk, classical and pop music. In his childhood, because of his strong, beautiful voice, he was a muezzin, which was the person who announced the Islamic call to prayer twice a day. From 1929 until his death in 1992, he composed and recorded about 300 songs. Arsoy is regarded as a very important musician because he innovated the singing style, lyricism, diction and songwriting approach of popular Turkish music of the 1930s and 40s.

Here he sings the self-penned duet “Kadinlar Erkekler”, “Men and Women” in English, with another famous Istanbul-based singer (and cinema star), Madame Mahmure Hanim. From the 1920s through the 1950s, she was very well-known in Turkey and in Anatolian culture around the world, recording many Turkish folk and pop sides and also appearing in over 30 films.

Besides the vocal duo, the accompaniment I hear is an oud, extra male and female voices, and violins, with one of the violins typically doubling and/or harmonizing the singing melody.

 

 

 

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I have not been able to find anything about this Turkish 78 except for the name? of the performers? which is written in English on the label. An intense piece of music which a scratchy recording only serves to make even scarier, it has voices, an insistent hand drum and the horn/flute instrument sounds like an ancient mey. A captivating, maybe uneasy listen (war song?heroic allegory?),this appears to be from the late 1910s, on Victor’s “bat wing” label.

Seni Ghiardukdje titreyor ghureim – Song in Turkish <<PLAY