An unusual and beautiful pairing of tanbur and ney by Murat Aydemir and Salih Bilgin. Nevâ’s wide repertoire includes Cantemir’s 17th century “Pençgah Pesrevi,” romantic-era Turkish works such as Tanbûri Cemil Bey’s much-neglected “Nevâ Pesrevi,” and modern interpretations of classical Turkish repertoire. Contains a rare performance of a “Fihrist Taksim” (improvisation) that includes makams in the Rast family modally related to each other.

Salih Bilgin & Murat Aydemir


Genre: Turkish & Ottoman Classical.


1. Nevâ Pesrevi – Tanburî Cemil Bey 3:50
2. Müsterek Taksim (Joint Improvisation) 4:40
3. Ussak Sazsemâîsi – Neyzen Aziz Dede 3:25
4. Fihrist Taksim (Rast Family) 10:11
5. Pençgâh Sazsemâîsi – Dmitrie Kantemiroglu 3:50
6. Ferahfezâ Pesrevi – Tanburî Cemil Bey 3:18
7. Müsterek (Taksim (Joint Improvisation) &
Sultânîyegâh Sazsemâîsi – Nedim Aga
8. Sehnaz Pesrevi Kemanî Ali Aga 4:30
9. Müsterek Taksim (Joint Improvisation) 5:00
10. Hicaz Sazsemâîsi – Veli Dede 3:50
  Total Time: 51:19


Recorded at Aria Studios, Istanbul
Recording & Mixing by Cengiz Onural
Artwork: Siir Özbilge

The Mystery of Nevâ

Sound, like a ship passing through the mysterious, is a bridge between the ocean unfathomable and the world in which we live. Since time immemorial, every lover of music who journeys on the musical sea has crossed this bridge. For us, Nevâ serves as our bridge to that mystical, veiled ocean. Nevâ has always been a keystone of our music – never failing to reveal new doors, horizons, and worlds to all who pass through. Nevâ offers a strong foundation, not just when presented as a sound or tone, but also as a mode, harmony and melody. To honor this, we open this recording with Nevâ Pesrevi by Tanburî Cemil Bey who has been a flame inspiring all tanbur players since his time. We also wished to name the final album Nevâ. In this recording, we tried to carry the torch of Nevâ, handed down through the ages from musician to musician, as far as our power, heart and love would allow us to, bowing only to musical concerns. We did our best not to compromise this pure style that has been flowing throughout history.

We present Nevâ to the listener, asking for forgiveness for our mistakes, if you should hear any. We'd like to express our gratitude: first of all to our teachers who made it possible for us to collaborate; to Cengiz Onural who opened the doors of not only his studio, but also his heart, and who catalyzed our creation of this work; to Hüseyin Tuncel who played the rhythm section during the recordings and was always by our side in spirit; and to Kaf Music Company. Every breath taken, every plectrum moved to bring about this humble creation is dedicated to its reason forbeing.

With thanks --
the musicians,
Murat Aydemir (tanbur) and Salih Bilgin (ney).

Salih Bilgin

Salih Bilgin was born in Istanbul in 1960. His family roots are from Bolvadin, Afyon in Western Turkey. In 1980, Bilgin entered the Turkish Music Government Conservatory at Istanbul Technical University. His teachers included Niyazi Sayin (ney), Özdal Orhon (theory, solfeggio, & repertoire), Hursit Ungay (rhythm), Ahmet Kabakli (literature), and Cafer Açin (organology). In 1984, he graduated from Nefesli Sazlar (Reed Instruments) Ney section and joined the Istanbul Government Classic Music Chorus. Bilgin was among the founders of Izmit Municipal Conservatory and served this instititution for four years.

In 1996, he performed in a series of concerts called Parthenon to IstanbuI with U.S.-based Romeiko Ensemble. The ensemble appeared at Nashville’s Parthenon, Boston’s Meliotis Center, Princeton University and New York Hunter College. Music from this project was released in the U.S. in 1999. In 2003, Bilgin once again joined Romeiko Ensemble for concerts in St. Berlioz Church in New York, and in Washington D.C. Also in 1996, Bilgin performed in concert with Turkish musicians Sehvar Besiroglu, Serhan Ayhan, Derya Türkan and Feridun Özgeren in Boston as part of MIT Aga Han project. This group of musicians participated in a seminar organized by Harvard University’s Middle East Studies Music Group and Musicology Department.

In 1997, as a member of Istanbul Tasavvuf Music and Sema Ensemble, Bilgin performed a Mevlevi ritual in Sarejova’s International Bascarsija (Basçarsi) Festival. In addition, he has been a performer with the Turkish Government’s Classical Music Chorus both in Turkey and abroad.

In 1999, Bilgin participated in a project presenting the works from Ali Ufki & Kantemir Edvars. (An edvar is a book about musical rules). In this project, fellow musicians were Sehvar Besiroglu, Murat Aydemir, Hüseyin Tuncel and Derya Türkan. Later, with the addition of Cengiz Onural to this group, the Cantemir Ensemble was formed. This group produced two albums that accompanied Professor Yalçin Tura’s extensive work Kantemiroglu Edvari. Later, Bilgin recorded with Hüseyin Tuncel, Murat Aydemir, Taner Sayacioglu and Derya Türkan two more albums to accompany Docent Fikret Kutlug’s book Türk Musikisinde Makamlar (The Makams of Turkish Music).

Some of Bilgin’s other recording works include the "Bir sarkidir Yasamak (Living is a Song)" music series and "Ussak Fasli," by Dogan Dikmen. Bilgin is also the ney player on several recordings produced by the Turkish Music Foundation including recordings by famed vocalists Alâaeddin Yavasça, Inci Çayirli and Melihat Gülses. In addition, Bilgin wrote the chapter on ney for Çetin Körükçü’s Türk Musikisi (Turkish Music).

Between 1989 and September 2001, Bilgin was an instructor at his alma mater. Currently, he is a member of Government Conservatory. He continues to study ney and mouthpiece making, marbling (ebru), and prayer beads (tesbih) under the guidance of his teacher, Niyazi Sayin. Bilgin is married and has a daughter. Salih Bilgin made the ney used in this recording.

Murat Aydemir

Murat Aydemir was born in Hanover, Germany in 1971. Aydemir studied at the Istanbul Technical University National Turkish Music Conservatory, beginning in 1982. He graduated from the Instrument Education Department of the Conservatory as an exceptionally outstanding student, and was accepted to the Master’s program of the Conservatory without further examination. His tanbur teacher from his entry until his graduation was Tanbûri Necip Gülses, who has influenced Aydemir in playing techniques and art as well as the direction.

After listening to Tanbûri Cemil Bey’s performances on 78 RPM discs, he believed Tanbûri Cemil Bey’s art is the ideal to be reached. Tanbûri Cemil Bey’s influence on Aydemir’s art life persisted during his education and in his professional life. In 1988, when he was only 16 years old, he was invited to perform with the prestigious Culture Ministry Istanbul Government Turkish Music Ensemble, formed and directed by tanbur master Prof. Dr. Necdet Yasar. In 1989, Aydemir was a guest tanbur player of this ensemble. During this period, the opportunities to play with the best musicians of this genre opened new horizons for him. Most importantly, Aydemir studied with Necdet Yasar, who represents the link from Tanbûri Cemil Bey and his son Mesud Cemil in terms of school and sound. This instruction included style (üslup), technique, timbre (tone colour), makam, taksim (improvisation), composing within improvisation, agility, and other topics.

Murat Aydemir has performed with such prestigious musicians as vocalists Bekir Sidki Sezgin and Alâaeddin Yavasça, kanun player Erol Deran, kemençe player Ihsan Özgen, and oud player Cinuçen Tanrikorur. He performed solo, and in duets and trios for various television performances and concerts.

Since 1990, Aydemir has been a member of the Istanbul Ministry of Culture’s Classical Turkish Music Chorus and has participated in countless concerts in Turkey and abroad.

Aydemir recorded Ahenk, a duo album with Derya Türkan (kemençe) released by Golden Horn Records in 1997. In that same year, Aydemir, Derya Türkan and Cengiz Onural formed Incesaz, which has released the albums "Eski Nisan (Aged April)”, “Ikinci Bahar (Second Spring)”, and “Eylül Sarkilari (September Songs).” Incesaz performs many of Onural’s and Aydemir’s compositions in these recordings. In addition to tanbur, Aydemir plays lavta.

Murat Aydemir’s goals are to maintain the traditional way of performing, yet to expand and introduce new ideas. He is dedicated to preserving the performance practice of the tanbur, traditionally a unique Turkish instrument, for new generations.

The tanbur used by Murat Aydemir in this recording was made by master Sacit Gürel.