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The Turkish Bağlama: A Sacred Symbol of Alevi Identity

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For the Alevi, the bağlama has become a powerful symbol of group identity. This paper discusses the important role that this Turkish folk instrument has in Alevi musical traditions and practices by first contextualizing the historical position of the Alevi in Turkish society, and then by examining the role of the bağlama in traditional ceremonial performance contexts. Finally, this paper examines the role Arif Sağ, a popular bağlama musician, played in cultural revival and how the sphere of his influence contributed directly to the bağlama becoming a sacred symbol of Alevi identity.


Bağlama, Alevi, Turkish Music, Identity, Arif Sağ

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