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Karadeniz Music Archive (Karma): Preparation and Formation Stages

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Karadeniz Technical University State Conservatory, Musicology Department
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Black Sea and its surrounding constitute one of the important areas on the world in terms of cultural diversity. Either tens of nations who lived either within historical background and that depth or other communities who did not shelter in these areas but affected those living in these territories by making short-term transitions brought limitless actors together and bound too broad geography each other by establishing numerous networks and relations.
The first institutionally phonograph recording in Turkey was made by Istanbul Conservatory (Dar-ül Elhan) in 1926. The first sound recordings in Black Sea Region were made by the same institution in 1929 and also kinetograph was used in this tour for the first time in Turkey excluding sound recording, musicologist Mahmut Ragıp Gazimihal published his notes related with the tour within the same year. Afterwards, compilation tours of Ankara Conservatory were performed in 1937 and 1943. Later, many institutions notable TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Association), many local and foreign researcher such as Kurt Reinhard, Süleyman Şenel and Martin Stokes made compilations and recorded traditional tunes. However, serious challenges have been experienced regarding archiving and protection of these materials until today and an important part of these studies could not be transferred from past to present.
I started attempts in 2011 for the purpose of examining Black Sea music’s wealth and bonds coming from the past, keeping it together in an archive created under the roof of KTU (Karadeniz Technical University) and presenting researchers good opportunities on a proper foundation by transferring it to the future. Infrastructure of the archive was prepared by taking important financial support with the project presented within the scope of KTU Scientific Researches Projects. Physical space and technical hardware were created within KTU under the name of Karadeniz Music Archive (KARMA) in 2012. A working team was brought together with contributions of ethnomusicologists, folklorists working in KTU and other researchers living the region. Research was conducted in archives of institutions like TRT which took records previously and it was worked in Berlin Phonogramm Archiv for 9 months in 2013-2014 by taking support from TUBITAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey). Substantial materials were obtained by establishing contacts and cooperating with countries having coasts on Black Sea. Establishment and formation stages of archive were completed and it was rendered open for researchers.
KARMA that is the first traditional music archive and one of the first audio-visual digital archives of Turkey is one of the major international reference sources as well as national sources. In this paper, future plans and objectives of the archive will be conveyed by addressing establishment and formation stages of KARMA in detail. The aim of paper is to introduce the first traditional music archive of an important geography like Black Sea, to take opinion and advices of experts in this field. Thus, it is targeted to obtain current information for evaluating present stages and developing the archive in the next process.