Ottoman Turkey, Ireland, and the music of frogs

Painting, 1720 - musical band of Ottoman Turkey

By Elizabeth Doyle

Sarband — The music of the Ottoman Empire was famously grand. It spread through Sufi parlors, mosques and palaces, and was thought to be magical. Its complex structure was used even to heal illnesses. They really believed in the power of music! The old Ottoman sounds can still be heard in modern Turkish music. (Turkey has a lot of lovely music – I love the twisty, curvy sounds of it.) And there’s a group called Sarband, which fuses and celebrates all kinds of music in the region, both old and new. Here, they play a lovely old Ottoman piece. It’s easy to imagine hearing this in an old Turkish palace! And also easy to understand why the Ottomans believed that the subtle qualities in a musical piece could affect both a person’s psychology and physical state.

Click here.

Paulnabrone Dolmen, County Cork, Ireland



Aine Minogue — Ireland has a long history of beautiful music. There are songs being written today, and songs that have likely been sung since the days of the Celts. From spirited jigs to sweeping airs, the music of Ireland is distinctive, and greatly treasured, particularly in North America, which is home to a large number of genetically Irish people. North Americans embracing their Irish heritage had a lot to do with the Celtic music revival of the past few decades, and has helped shine a worldwide spotlight on some of Ireland’s most angelic music. I particularly like Aine Minogue. She’s an Irish harpist and singer whose music sounds to me like it was born in a stone temple, cold and moist in a hidden valley between two emerald green hills. I definitely believe that a Celtic goddess smiles every time she plucks a string! Click here.

Frog in a pond

Animal Musicians of the world – Of course, we aren’t the only species who sings.  Some of the most beautiful music in the world is composed and performed by our animal friends around the globe.  It would be hard to find any New Age album more soothing than the song of the frogs or an opera more dramatic than the lion’s roar.  So here are three good videos of animals performing in the wild:

Frogs: Ode to a ray of sunlight:

A lion opera of rejection, pining and a love lost: 

Mocking bird serenades the dark:

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