©2018 by Makam Müzik Dergisi. Proudly created with Wix.com

SADETTİN KAYNAK (1895 - 1961)


Named among the greatest Turkish composers of the Republican period, even the 20th century, Sadettin Kaynak was born in 1895 in the madrasa where his father worked in Taşkasap district. The composer completed his primary education in Taş Mektep school in the district they lived, received his first religious knowledge from his mudarris father Ali Alâeddin Efendi, and became a hafiz when he was just nine years old.

After finishing the Mercan High School, Sadettin Kaynak enrolled in the Faculty of Theology of Istanbul University. Leaving his education unfinished due to starting of the World War I a year later, he went to Diyarbakır to perform his military service in the Caucasus Army Group as a reserve officer. We see in his later years that the composer, who went to the provinces such as Elazığ, Harput, Malatya, Mardin and examined their folk songs and cultures, reflected the aesthetic knowledge he obtained from these regions on his composition.

After returning to Istanbul when he was discharged in the middle of 1920, Sadettin Kaynak completed his education in the Faculty of Theology and appointed as the second imam of Sultan Selim Mosque in 1926.  He married Ms. Fatma Zehra (1907-1985), the daughter of Ömer Efendi, the head imam of this mosque, in 1926. The couple had five children: Emine Cavidan (1927-1993), Ali Yavuz (1929-1994), Ömer Feyyaz (1931), Cengiz, and Mustafa Günaydın (1938-1993).

He went to Berlin to record an album in 1926. During this journey, he took the paper handed to him by Attorney Mr. Ali Şevket with whom he met on the train, which had four lines written on it, and made his first composition "Hicran-ı Elem Sine-i Pür Hunumu Dağlar".

By order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, he recited the first azan (call to prayer) in Turkish and the first khutbah (sermon) in Turkish in Süleymaniye Mosque. Again by the order of Atatürk, he gave conferences to the army commanders in Çankaya Mansion about the verses of the Quran regarding war.

218 out of 669 works composed by the composer in over 40 makams throughout his life, belong to the verbal repertoire of movie scores/soundtracks. Sadettin Kaynak composed 59 scores for 10 Turkish movies and 159 scores for 47 Egyptian movies.

He passed away during his treatment in Haydarpaşa Numune Hospital due to a stroke, and was buried the next day in Topkapı Merkezefendi Cemetery with takbirs and nasheeds following the funeral prayer performed in Nuruosmaniye Mosque.

Sadettin Kaynak, who composed 218 out of his 669 works reached so far for 61 movies, became the greatest composer of his period on movie scores. The youngest child of the composer, Mustafa Günaydın (1938-1993), studied economics, and Oğuz Kaynak, who was born 17 years after his grandfather's demise, attended Istanbul University, the same university with his grandfather, but instead of theology, he studied Radio, Cinema and Television. 

We asked our questions about this great artist, who left his mark in our recent history, to his movie-maker grandson, Oğuz Kaynak.