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Haverford and Bryn Mawr colleges embark on musical cultural exchange in Turkey

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

College students in the Philadelphia area will fly to Turkey tomorrow to begin learning more of that country’s culture through harmonies and rhythms.

31 choral singers from Haverford and Bryn Mawr colleges are taking part in this unique cultural exchange program.

From WHYY’s Arts and Culture desk, Peter Crimmins has more.

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Turkey is a mystery to most Americans. So says Ibrahim Onaral, the president of the Turkish American Friendship Society, which had college choral singers over for dinner last week.

Its huge for us. If you’re going to promote Turskish culture, music and art is the most effective way.

But it’s not as easy as it sounds. The director of the Haverford and Bryn Mawr Chamber Singers, Tom Lloyd, says the political and cultural forces in 20th century Turkey created a unique hybrid of traditional Middle Eastern folk melodies and European harmonies.

Lloyd: Music outside the west tend to be much more complex in terms of rhythm and melodic material. That’s especially true in the middle east and in the Turkish tradition.

Lloyd says his singers will use music as an entry point to talk with Turkish students about politics and culture.


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