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Music in the Ottoman Imperial Harem and the Life of Composer Leyla Saz (1850-1936)

Length: 28 pages18 minutes


The Ottoman Imperial Harem conjures up many images in the West, and the concept of ‘harem’ has been a central fixture in any attempt to portray the backwardness of Islam, both historically and as the precursor to the treatment of women in Muslim countries today. The memoirs of Ottoman composer Leyla Saz provide a much more complicated picture of the Imperial Harem, both in terms of the status of women and the role that music played there.

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