Arabesque music

Arabesque music

Arabesque or Arabesk (Turkish: Arabesk) is a genre termed so by Turkish musicologists for a type of sound to come out of Turkey in the 1950s and 1960s. It has counterparts in a Greek form of pop music known as Skiladiko, Arabic pop music, Serbian Turbo folk, Bulgarian Chalga, Romanian Manele, and Israeli Muzika Mizrachit.

Arabesk involves a versatile collection of music inspired by Turkish folk music and Middle Eastern music. Due to its predominantly Arab-influenced melodies it is considered to be music of the working class. As a result of its declining popularity in Turkey, more recently it has merged with other genres such as rock music and dance music to achieve a more contemporary sound.

Along with Turkish pop music, hip-hop combined with Turkish Arabesk sounds have arrived in the German music scene, also.


Orhan Gencebay is generally considered the founder of the genre, though he disagrees with the usage of the term. Other well known singers are Müslüm Gürses and Ferdi Tayfur, who have die-hard followers, usually in conflict with each other. In recent years through remixing his tracks into dance friendly club tracks Turkish folk singer Ibrahim Tatlıses has gained popularity amongst the Arabesk scene. However, younger singers such as Emrah and Ozcan Deniz have tried to move away from this genre and into contemporary Turkish pop music.

Traditionally a male dominated genre, its image has changed largely due to an injection of female singers, with most critics attributing to these female singers the "dance" influx of upbeat sound into the genre, that became known as arabesque/fantasy music.

Other notable performers


Sezen Aksu

External links

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