The Kutay Derin Kuğay collection consists of 429 Turkish and Greek 78rpm recordings spanning the period between 1906 and 1963. Difficult to find in their original format and reissued largely with poorly done transfers, Greek and Turkish recordings such as these serve as an important musical chronicle of popular joys, anxieties, nostalgia, and emotional escapes during the painful yet ultimately hopeful transition from the late Ottoman Empire to the emergence of modern independent republics in the eastern Mediterranean; they provide depth and a human touch that written histories of the period cannot readily capture.
Additionally, for the musicologist and ethnomusicologist they offer a record of the period’s most popularly performed genres, instruments, singing and playing techniques, rhythmic cycles, and "makamlar" (melodic modes), information about which has been provided in the catalog listings by the UCSB Library’s Special Collections staff.
The collection was brought together over many years by Mr. Kutay Derin Kuğay, an independent filmmaker and composer who came to California from his native Turkey in 1966, and who until recently hosted a world music radio program for KPFK in Berkeley. Before returning to live in Turkey, Mr. Kuğay wanted this special part of his record collection to find a home in a professional archive where both the discs and newly digitized copies of the music would be well kept and made available to the public. Cataloged recordings can be found using UCSB Library Search. Digital copies can be requested through a Special Collections Research Account.
For more information on the collection or assistance in using the materials, please contact Special Collections staff at special [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu.
-Eric Ederer, PhD