Created through the vision of the pedagogues of the period, this endeavor not only provided formal education to village students, but offered non-formal education to their parents as well. It was inconceivable that an education concept with such an important mission would achieve its goals, of course, without taking advantage of art, especially the art of music. Therefore, apart from being educational institutions, Village Institutes stood out as centers of culture and art. The role that fine arts –particularly music– played in daily life was just as important as its place in education. It would thus be fitting to address and evaluate music activities in Village Institutes as such.
In spirit of the political and cultural setting of the period, the objective was to educate the youth across the nation in a “single voice, single heart.” Introducing the cultures of the east, west, north, and south to one another and having students sing folk songs and play games particular to different regions across Turkey was the most powerful way of creating that “single voice, single heart.” Therefore, the five-year curriculum of the Village Institute entailed the instruction of a minimum of twelve marching songs, twenty exercise songs, as well as thirty-five folk songs and [regional] dance music.5 The marching song repertoire included examples that arose national sentiments such as “İstiklal Marşı” (The National Anthem), “Cumhuriyet Marşı” (The Republic Marching Song),” “Akdeniz Marşı” (The Mediterranean Marching Song), “Türklük Marşı” (The Marching Song of Turkism), “Gençlik Marşı”, (Marching Song of the Youth), and “Köy Enstitüsü Marşı” (Marching Song of Village Institutes). Either adopted from the children’s song repertoire of many European countries or composed by Turkish musicians, the exercise songs for children and adolescents included “Bebeğin Dansı” (Dance of the Baby), “Yalancı Çoban” (Cry Wolf), “Yaşasın Okulumuz” (Hooray for School), “Türk Yemişi Yiyelim” (Let’s Eat Turkish Fruits), “Anadolu” (Anatolia), “Buğday” (Wheat), and “Bahar” (Spring). The folk song and dance music repertoire comprised tunes of different character from various regions, including “Tandır Gelin” (Tandoori Bride), “Mecnunum Leyla’mı Gördüm” (I’m Majnun, I’ve Seen my Layla), “Çanakkale İçinde” (Inside Çanakkale), “Topal Koşma” (Limping Ballad), “Tamzara”, “Hayrano”, “Yeni Cami Avlusu” (Courtyard of Yeni Cami), “Eşimden Ayrıldım”, (I Broke up with my Wife/Husband) “Burçak Tarlası” (Field of Vetch), “Kozanoğlu”, “Giresun Kayıkları” (Rowboats of Giresun), “Sarı Zeybek” (Yellow Zeibek), “Mezar Arasında” (Between Graves), “Tuna Havası” (Tune of Danube), and “Bengi (Eternal).”
An extract from an article by Melih Duygulu in the exhibition catalogue.
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