Courses overview

Turkish music ensemble

Damla Aydın
Tristan Driessens
MABO - Lycée Maria-Boodschap - Rue de la Braie 22, 1000 Bruxelles

Ensemble Turkish folk and art music is a weekly course that offers a chance to work on pieces drawn from the rich and varied repertoire of Turkey’s classical and popular traditions. It is an opportunity to learn the asymmetric rhythms of Anatolia, the stylistic figures of the Turkish lutes – the saz, tanbur and oud –and the modes (makam) and improvisation which make Turkish music so expressive.

The course is aimed not only at – beginner and advanced – players of the Turkish oud and saz but also at vocal students and students of other Turkish instruments, such as the ney, kanun, bendir and violin. During the lessons, the students will prepare for an end-of-year concert.

The course focuses on the common roots of Turkish traditional music shared by both the scholarly and popular branches. ‘Classical’ Turkish music was created at the court of the Ottoman sultans and in the religious centres of the Mevlevi order of Sufism. Popular Turkish music, on the other hand, covers a broad spectrum of traditions from the various regions of Anatolia, the foremost exponents of which were the aşik troubadours, Kurds and musicians of the Bektaşi order, with the saz as their iconic instrument.

This course seeks to emphasise the mutual enrichment between the scholarly and popular Turkish music traditions – across the cultural divide – by examining the musical language they both share, which is based on the seyir (pattern, melodic development). The origin of the word seyir is related to the concept of a passage, route or journey.

Like all musical traditions of the Middle East, the different forms of Turkish music are essentially modal, with the pure melodic line taking the central position in any musical work. In scholarly music, the seyir is the direction the melody takes, which gives the makam (mode) its identity. Delving into popular music, one can discover melodic treasures such as those that characterise the work of the great classical composer and tambur virtuoso ‘Tanburi’ Cemil Bey. No less than maestro Talip Özkan refined his saz playing by studying the Ottoman tanbur.

Ensemble for beginners with Damla Aydın

In the Turkish Ensemble class for beginners we will learn the structure and theory of Maqams and Rhytms in Turkish Music. Using these fundamental knowledge. We will keep building with practical applications, such as playing styles, ornamentation techniques. During this process we will also focus on improving these exercises that will enable students to learn and apply techniques step by step in an easy way. After this, we will focus on improvisations (Taksim) with Turkish Maqams.

The course is taking place on Tuesday from 8pm to 10pm in Mabo.

Ensemble for advanced students with Tristan Driessens

The focus of the Turkish Ensemble class for advanced students is playing togheter and discovering the mutual enrichment between the scholarly and popular Turkish music traditions.

The course is taking place on Sunday from 11am to 1pm. The place will be mentioned on this site.

Damla Aydın

Damla Aydin started playing music when she was ten years old.  She studied both Turkish and Western classical music at the ITU (Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music State Conservatory) for sixteen years.  Aydin has developed unique techniques on the cello, in order to express the authenticity of Turkish music.  She has a great understanding of the history and feeling of Maqam music. Her repertoire includes Turkish classical and folk music. Having had private classes with many well-known Turkish music composers, she has a solid understanding about improvisation (Taksim) techniques. She has been sharing her experience with her students for ten years.  She has been living, and developing her music projects, in Belgium for two years.

Tristan Driessens

Tristan Driessens studied the oud under Azzouz El Houriet and Anwar Abudragh before going on to pursue studies in musicology to further his knowledge of the music of the Middle East. Tristan benefited from workshops in Cairo, Istanbul and in Greece with artists such as Necati Çelik, Naseer Shamma ou Yurdal Tokcan. His cultivated and open style of playing was developed through many other journeys.

Enjoy many benefits and discounts

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Come and discover this course during the free session on Tuesday 17th of September, from 8 pm to 10 pm.


  • Beginners: Tuesday from 8 to 10pm in Mabo
  • Advanced: Sunday from 11am to 1 pm in Ixelles (the adress will be announced soon)

Registration is required from the second course of the cycle.


MABO - Lycée Maria-Boodschap
Rue de la Braie 22, 1000 Bruxelles


To register for a course, membership of Muziekpublique is mandatory.
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If necessary the teacher can vary the calendar in consultation with the course members.


Cycle 1
€ 120
Cycle 1
€ 120
Cycle 1
€ 120