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Serap Çağlayan and Münip Utandı

Interview by Emel Sönmez


Kubbealtı Academy Culture and Art Foundation was established with the purpose of carrying out social responsibility works in various fields, including music.


For this purpose, besides its educational activities such as academic conferences, seminars, courses for Turkish ornament arts, calligraphy, Ottoman Turkish, aruz, proper and correct Turkish speaking, the foundation has also carried out social responsibility projects and activities such as scholarships, social aids, concerts, trips, iftars, dinners, charity sales.


The Turkish Music activities in Kubbealtı started in 1970 with Kubbealtı Society, and gained its current legal status of foundation in 1978. The purpose of the foundation was declared as gathering the generations around a national thinking and art center in science, idea and art, based on the historic values unique to the Turkish nation, and to achieve this goal, conducting various studies in science, idea, art, language, social fields and publications.


Valuable founders of the foundation Sâmiha Ayverdi, Dr. Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi, İlhan Ayverdi, Ergun Göze, Prof. Dr. Uğur Derman, Kemalettin Nomer, Prof. Dr. Bayram Yüksel, Prof. Mustafa Tahralı, and Prof. Dr. Necâti Tahralı wrote the following sentences in their foundation wills they had prepared at the beginning of their journey to describe their objectives.


"...The financial sacrifice required for the development and continuity of an establishment, which has aspired to serve national education and art, such as Kubbealtı Academy Culture and Art Foundation, has made it a debt of conscience for us to transfer our properties specified below to Kubbealtı Academy Culture and Art Foundation. We have believed that the effort to ensure education of the members of this center, which gathers the youth in its core, in a mental and spiritual order, is a clear, sacred national duty like a prayer and a debt of conscience.


Although this was our starting point, a word of God, which should be included in the intellectual and emotional repertoire of every Muslim, has also encouraged us to keep our material and spiritual possibilities available to those around us throughout our whole lives. Since God says in the Qur'an, "And why is it that you do not spend in the cause of God, when to God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth?", then mankind should be grateful, not proud, to make the properties given to them by God available to His servants again."


The president of the foundation, Sinan Uluant continues his works with his heart and soul to carry and transfer this rich heritage to future generations. Mr. Uluant also helped Serap Çağlayan and Münip Utandı, very valuable artists and teachers who teach courses in Kubbealtı Academy, to enlighten new generations under this sacred roof.


Within the scope of Classical Turkish Music trainings, style-repertoire, qanun, classic kamanche, ney and tanbur lessons are given in Kubbealtı Academy. As a result of the meticulous efforts of valuable teachers, the Classical Turkish Music is conserved and transferred to generations by staying loyal to its original version.


Münip Utandı, one of the valuable artists and teachers of Turkish Music, and Serap Çağyalan, valuable qanun artist and teacher, together conduct the style and repertoire lessons in the academy. We talked with these two valuable musicians about Turkish Music and their valuable efforts for the sake of Turkish Music.