Johannes Tinctoris, one of Renaissance theorists and composers, defines music as “a group of sounds made of human and instruments” in the second half of the 15th century. This pragmatic approach of Tinctoris is perhaps seen appropriate to the soul of the time because in the previous century theorists such as Grocheo was also included in the books with a definition of “Genuine music for the noblesse, Popular music for folk” while classifying music. Grocheo limits the address of music as church and palace by ignoring folk and by saying that music was made in accordance with the noblesses’ laws and rules. Over the centuries, not only musicians, but also thousands of people from dozens of disciplines such as clergymen, nobles, scientists, critics, literati and philosophers continue to say something about music. It is quite normal to see that some definitions still exist today. Nicholas Cook refers to the approach of defining music in terms of “value” when he says “every music is different, but every music is music too”. Those who are displeased with popular culture argue that there is no connection between quality and popularity. Craig McGregor emphasizes that the culture is an act and it has a participative aspect. In other words, culture is not just gilded books on library shelves or a Mozart symphony. Johann Nikolaus Forkel, who wrote the first study on Bach, fifty years after his death (Über Johann Sebastian Bachs Leben, Kunst und Kunstwerke- 1802), says that one who listens to Bach’s music should first absorb the music thoroughl, then know the value of the music’s creator. In brief, everyone thinks, says and writes on music. The materialist thinkers like Jdanov also argue that the main mission of the composer is to develop and enhance the nation’s music, then to protect this music from the corrupt bourgeois influences. The top place of Strauss waltzes and Offenbach operettas in the 19th century musical life did not come suddenly. That is what the industry does, and naturally the basic idea is based on the entertainment function of the music rather than art. Reaction is inevitable and they organize alternative concerts not for fun, arguing that music is the slave of the market and this is the degenerateness of music.

It is highly understandable why thousands of researches are done in different disciplines about the place of music in human life. Definitions based on its meaning and function, concepts introduced and hypotheses suggested, classifications of musical genres again from differentially. Accepting music in every case is firstly quite hard, is quite hard for the academy. Nevertheless, the importance, effect and power of the music in human life is very obvious.

The theme of the International Hisarlı Ahmet Music Symposium (2019), in which academicians from different disciplines on different issues for 10 years, has been defined to be “Music in Human Life”. The following subheadings are suggestions for the symposium theme:

  • Music and Society, Social Change and Music
  • Musician, Audience and Social Roles
  • Change in Music, Continuity in Music
  • New Perspectives on Cultural Industry
  • Change and Music Industry
  • Local and Global Dynamics in Music
  • Music as a Way of Expression
  • Making Science on Music
  • Music and Academy
  • Classifying music in terms of value

As you can see, the theme is quite intense and we desire the same intensity for the participation. We especially appreciate that graduate students attend the symposium with their papers or as an audience under the guidance of their supervisors. Hope to see you in Kütahya in April 25-27, 2019.

Prof. Dr. Fırat KUTLUK
Chairman of Scientific Board