Scaling Refrains:

Political Ecology of Monophony and Silences of an In-Between Place


Can Bilir




Within and beyond the 1950s environmental framework, the global awareness toward the anthropogenic environmental impact and risk has stimulated critical discussions of the interrelations of human, nature, and material productive forces with an expansion of the planetary scale interrelations and place imaginaries as multiplicities. Parallel to the global transformation of risk societies, Turkiye has been dealing with environmental risks that transform its ecologies in acoustical and political senses. However, the historical and recently manifested discourses about sound and soundscapes have remained contingencies of the national singular narratives. By attending to the rhizomatic multiplicities in soundscapes along with the changing environmental definitions of sense of place, in this article, I examine refrains and investigate the fundamental question of why a particular acoustic ecology is recognized in singular forms and monophonies that are representative of this place imaginary independent of the forces in a material sense. Via the new terms that I coin, origin-essence and impetus, I further analyze refrains’ role in constructing communal imaginaries centered around inter- and intra-nationality to present the ongoing modern silences, narratives of Islamic and secular binary divisions, and the monophony of soundscapes of Turkiye. In doing so, I examine post-Covid-19 mosque recitations and broadcasts in Ankara in relation to the mosque calls’ role in preventing the July 15th, 2016 military coup d’etat attempt, the historical dichotomy of makam and scale in relation to European colonialism and Turkish cosmopolitanism, and the significance of refrains in Béla Bartók’s and Adnan Saygun’s ethnomusicological research in Central Anatolia.



The definition of globalism as transformed into the planetary scale molar singulars[1] such as Anthropocene (Crutzen and Stoermer 2000), following the great accelerations of the 1950s, with the advancements of audio technology, faster transportation methods, and intercontinental media transmission, has coincided with the infinite potentiality of sound’s reduction to global musical production. Music of this kind separates itself from the ordinariness of sounds in acoustic ecologies.[2] Common definitions of music reconstruct a nature-culture dichotomy in which musical universalisms are contingent upon the productivity of social networks represented in public life as variations of a singular cultural humanistic practice belonging to a higher-order human imaginary internationally and universally bound to Anthropogenic morality.

However, if we listen to music in its environmental context, through the lens of political ecology, music as a universal thing-in itself dissolves. For example, the Live Earth project of 2007, organized for the sake of generating awareness of environmental risk narratives, ultimately led to a controversial discussion of the negative effect of musical production on the carbon footprint (Pedelty 2011, 3; Smith 2007; Metallica 2007). Any musical event reflects a complex interrelation of discourses built around self-alienated definitions of musical manifestation and a universalist reductionism leading to a naïve internationalism. Aside from the proposal of music that unites humanity, and unity superimposed on a singular humanistic morality that is the “stewardship of nature” (Chakrabarty 2016) while singing the refrains of the nature-culture dichotomy, the networks of interrelation of the materiality of these productive forces drastically differ in each ecology. These differences of material productive forces in acoustic ecologies urge us to reconsider the action of listening that is conventionally limited to the artificially constructed boundaries of the discourse of music and soundscape, and remake listening as full bodily mediation remade from the embodiment of the auditory sense of place.

On a dry, hot Friday afternoon in July 2021, I was passing by Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque, next to the Presidency of Religious Affairs in Ankara. I realized that the Friday vaaz (sermon-preach), normally an indoor practice of the mosque, was being held outside. The mosque’s new speaker systems, different from the lo-fi speaker systems I was accustomed to, transmitted the words clearly even throughout the noisy soundscape of the avenue (Audio 1).

Audio 1. Public vaaz on the avenue from Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque[3]


Two words in this vaaz drew my attention: “batılı” and “çokluk.[4] Recent increasingly abundant mosque broadcasts in outdoor public spaces, on the one hand, continuously incorporate the jargon of old frameworks of an East-West dichotomy, and, on the other hand, represent concerns indirectly and directly about “Anthropocentric” risks such as overpopulation and great accelerations (Crutzen and Stoermer 2000, 17–18; Steffen 2015, 81–94; Haraway 2016, 181, 217, 223). I had been accustomed to hearing about the upcoming end of humanity and the human-contingent universe from the vaaz. Nevertheless, I wondered whether this latest sermon proffered a newborn exchange between soundscape, belief narratives, and environmental consciousness.

In the last couple of years in Turkiye[5], environmental consciousness has transformed together with conventional singulars representing complex discordances in common sense (Kant 1987, 293–296; Herwitz 1992, 191–193; Junkerman 1992, 39–64; Chomsky & Waterstone 2021) that are conspicuous in the sense of place (Heise 2008) through ecologies in acoustical and political senses (Schafer 1994, 205; Piekut 2014). The announcements for health precautions and public recitations from mosques after COVID-19 erupted in Turkiye in March 2020 resonate with the crackling sounds of plastic bags stamped with Sıfır Atık (Zero Waste) logos crashing against the shores of nature reserves, juxtaposed with media representations and actualizations of tourism promotions and the dissonances of the refugee crisis (Öztürk 2016; Cumhuriyet 2016).[6] The catastrophic incidents associated with human productive activities and consumption, national and international law, conflicts, warfare, and climate change such as the marine mucilage in Marmara and the upper Aegean Sea (Guardian 2021), stray mines in the Black Sea (Saul 2022; Yazan 2022), and increasing forest fires on the shores and inland (Anadolu Agency 2021), have transformed the common sense description of the imaginary of the sea-territory, and the general conception of ‘nature,’ to multiplicity (Bergson 2001; Deleuze & Guattari 1987, 8–12). Nature, in this sense, has transformed from recreational-place–the safe surface of the milieux of human productive forces in terms of its “thin description”–to nature as risky multiplicity-place, evolving towards a “thick description of reality” (Chakrabarty 2021, 100; Bennett 2010, 109). Place, in this sense, extends from the minimal sense of place and globalization to planetary scale interrelations (Spivak 2003; Heise 2008; Chakrabarty 2021).  The communal ordinary frictions of the multiplicities of place in this extensive sense are interlaced with multilinguistic cacophonies of the immigration crisis, and the silences associated with COVID-19 precautions, such as the controversial music bans (BBC News Türkçe 2021). New environmental risks are “creating new conflicts and exacerbating old ones between and inside nations” (Chakrabarty 2016, 383).


The acoustic ecologies of Turkiye conventionally associated with being affective and melancholic, as a result of limited interpretations of Istanbul’s soundscape that have been imposed to the entire country’s acoustic place imaginary, are intertwined with the recent convolution of the consciousness of ecological risk scenarios (Navaro-Yashin 2009; Gill 2017). The Ministry of Environment and Urbanism of Turkiye has changed its name to the Ministry of Environment, Urbanism, and Climate Change in Turkiye (Resmi Gazete 2021). Here, the interrelation of political economy and political ecology resonates with the oscillations of the recent plunge of the Turkish Lira. Despite the ecological anxieties embodied in the form of solastalgia (Albrecht 2005), environmental loss, and ecological grief (Cunsolo 2017, 169–189; Krause 2017, 27–38), whether they are affective or melancholic or not, appear in the subtle resonances of ordinary soundscapes, the local and global acoustic ecologies embody infinite differentiations and parallels in their network of forces still generating the singular dialectic discourse of nationalism. In the planetary scale sense of place, disinterestedness toward the actual concerns of climate change continues among the discrepancies in between the need for reduction of carbon emission, sustainable continuation of production, unclarity of justice distributions, human agency, and anthropocentric morality (Chakrabarty 2021 & 2009).[7] These factors dissolve into silences in our subject matter as an imaginary stasis, discursively ignored in every differentiation of sound, remaking the national state discourse and its dialectical negations.


During the Covid-19 period, the mosque calls centralized in soundscapes through their auditory range to include the smallest urban and rural communal imaginaries (Anderson 2006, 1–7) have actively redirected these multiplicities of place and soundscape to singular national social integrations. This process reached its peak in 2016.


On the midnight of July 16th, 2016, at about 12:13 am, Ankara had perhaps the most bizarre moment of soundscape clash in modern Turkish history. A hardly visible dark sky reverberated through the city with the distant sound of helicopter rotors, bombs, and the sonic booms of fighter jets. The local news pictured scenes of the occupation of iconic urban centers, public spaces, and governmental headquarters in major cities by military troops, armored vehicles, and tanks, including the 15th July Martyrs Bridge [formerly Boğaziçi Bridge]  that connects Asia and Europe in İstanbul. The veracity of the depicted incidents was not instantly clear to civilians.

During this complex circumstance of conflict, common sense abruptly began to construct itself with clear resemblances to an old ghost haunting the public after a TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) presenter read the declaration statement of the coup-plotters (BBC News 2021; Özdemir 2021).

Shortly after this statement, the nationwide media began to broadcast Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s incoming video call to CNN Turk. In this video call, Erdoğan invited citizens to the squares and airports to resist the assault, which he condemned and described as an antidemocratic coup attempt organized by a small fraction of military forces disobeying the chain of command (CNN Turk 2016). This announcement was immediately followed by unexpected calls from the local mosques. Recitations of ezan (call to prayer), sela, and verbal announcements from all over the city mosques’ speakers reiterated the invitation for citizens to resist until the early morning. The ezan and sela had not been used in Turkiye outside of ritual as a defensive communal tie since World War I (Gill 2016).

The July 15th coup-attempt was the first publicly announced systematic anti-democratic military event in modern Turkish history that was met directly with large-scale civilian resistance, with more than three hundred fatalities and approximately fifteen hundred injuries. By 2017, July 15th had been declared “Democracy and National Unity Day.” The mosque calls that were broadcast through networks of mosque sound systems with simultaneous live-digital media circulation in the city soundscape engendered a unique public attention that united the civilian population in a singular communal bond of national-religious common sense according to the public media representations. Since then, official imams and müezzins in local mosques in neighborhoods all over the country hold simultaneous sela performances at 12:13 am on July 16th annually.

According to my ethnographic research, after 2016 and with notable increase after the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020, the auditory networks of the mosque calls generate a significant territorial live-digital auditory media apparatus that actively shapes the national-religious common sense. These auditory networks represent two advancements of the local and central broadcasts through the recent expansions of their forces from the indoor soundscape towards public spaces.

By “central broadcasts,” I refer to the single signal transmitter via a radio frequency from a central mosque that is able to simultaneously broadcast the signal to the entire network of mosques in the city, town, or village. On the other hand, local broadcasts refer to the local mosques’ receiver status, even if these mosques are able to practice their local ceremonies in the neighborhood independent of the central broadcasting system. In terms of the physical differences between these central and local broadcasts, local broadcasts are near-directional and central broadcasts are far-directional, while they merge into each other in soundscapes. Local broadcasts represent the responder in the controller/responder signal transmission hierarchy (Ellis 2020). Physically the local mosque is an autonomous epicenter of the material sound-event.

A particular local mosque, especially in its relation to central broadcasts, in this sense of discourse and signification, exists in the unity of a lord/bondsman dialectic (Hegel 1977, 111–119), the hierarchical source-concept infinitely interlaced with its dialectical inversion in-itself, or, in other words, the material consciousness of the local mosque is contingent on a closed dialectical discourse that central broadcasts regenerate in their material or immaterial projections of the acoustic ecology in-itself. In fact, a particular mosque with its speaker system has a unique auditory material force beyond the dialectical bound, with its auditory circle expanding beyond the soil it occupies; the territorial place of the mosque that is expanding through its auditory range with its recitations orders the voices and the sounds of the chaos of the acoustic ecology to make place (Deleuze & Guattari 1987, 311) with its monophonic refrain.

Conventionally, the ezan practices in public spaces have exclusive ritual connotations; far-directional public broadcasts from the mosques are only associated with five daily instances of the call to prayer. With these new public broadcasts, singing practices increase social signification beyond the strictly separated practical differences of the indoor and outdoor – ezan-s for instance are often heard publically more than five times per day.

Once the inner soundscape of the mosque has been broadcast to its surroundings, it will collide with central broadcasts, weaving broader public soundscapes. In the following excerpt of the first Friday prayer after the July 15th recitations that I recorded outside of the mosque with Zoom XYH-5 stereo microphone capsule located at a distance and hidden, we recognize that the local mosque’s inner soundscape vaaz, colliding with the central broadcast of ezan at 0:21and ezan-s starting at 9:22 and 21:20, are quieter in comparison to the central broadcast that appears in the beginning (Audio 2). Though in ordinary practices, the auditory territory of the local broadcast shrinks, the central and local broadcasts have the potential to become indiscernible and unified, as evident in the announcements and July 15th ezan-s and sela-s. In this recording, full recitation does not appear because the recording session was interrupted by a group of people. In my experience, defensive stance against the research in soundscape, including towards listening sessions without any equipment is very common in urban and rural central Anatolia. I believe this is partially why the literature of sensorial research is quite limited in the region. Eventually this lack contributes to reductive analyses of the region’s acoustic ecologies, and further draws attention to the significance of participant observation and the highly intricate relationship of the micropolitics of communal belonging involved in listening practices’ interweaving of characteristics of violence and performativity.

Audio 2: Central and following local broadcasts, Friday, July 16, 2021


Central broadcasts are generally rich with çeşni-s (the temporary modulations in smaller phrases of makam-s), with excessive differentiations from the opening and closing makams, as expected for their public role and significance. This type of central broadcast can be, although not necessarily, more pronounced in important events such as Friday prayers and religious holidays and events, including the annual recitations during the July 15th ceremonial events (Audio 3, 4, & 5). I say ‘not necessarily’ because Audio 3 is no match for the power of the recitations in the July 15th soundscape, which were not only done through the central broadcasts, but each mosque had joined into the collective call nationwide with their own live recitations at the highest volume that their equipment allowed. In order to better understand the controversial (Milliyet 1997) transmission system of mosque broadcasts and the relations between local and central mosques, I have interviewed officials and held listening sessions of mosque calls since the COVID-19 curfews began in 2020. As one of the main official muezzin who sings the calls in the central Kocatepe Mosque informed me, the mosque systems in Ankara— and in fact in other cities in Turkiye as well— broadcast and distribute calls instantly with a radio frequency system that was developed by the Turkish defense corporation Aselsan. This system allows the imams a precision with minimal delay in their calls. As this official confirmed, the local mosques in fact can go through with their own singing by shutting down the central broadcasting system to sing their own calls. This occurs especially in sela-s, a very common practice that the local mosque imams and muezzins perform in order to announce obituaries on a daily basis (Audio 4).

However, an interview with a relatively local neighborhood official, who I will refer to as Imam-X, portrays a more nuanced picture. Imam-X previously served as an imam in Germany, before asking for a transfer back to Ankara due to the perceived lack of communal Muslim integrity in German practices. Imam-X explained that not every imam is allowed to conduct local broadcasts. According to this interview, the official mufti allowed the mosque where Imam-X serves with the other official imams to be able to sing their own calls if they wish based on their capacity to aesthetically perform the broadcasts. Similar aesthetical concerns were also present in my interview with the Kocatepe Mosque official, who underlined the importance of the aesthetical capabilities of the mosque officials in terms of nazariyât and icrâ of makam-s and usûl-s.[8]

Audio 3: Central broadcast sela July 15, 2021, 12:13am


Audio 4: Sela Example in obituary announcement from a local broadcast, 2020[9]


Audio 5. Central broadcast of non-obituary sela and following ezan


Aside from situating the mosque’s auditory network as an active media circulation technique equipped with potentials of customized monodirectional singular signal-message transmission, the calls instantly differentiate from the singular norms within and beyond their makams. There are parallel differentiations of makam practices within national and international politics. Unfortunately, these practical changes are almost immune to archival recording, as it is impossible to trace the entire network of practice simultaneously.

For instance, the convention of incorporating a distinguished raised fourth (approximately 160 cents interval between the third and fourth pitches) in sabâ makamı (Özkan 2006, 369–373, (Fig. 1)) in the sabah ezanı (morning call to prayer) previously sung in the Ankara soundscapes by central broadcasts, gradually narrowed between 2002 and 2013, almost to the point of an equal tempered system (a 100 cents-semitone) that the conventional Western music canon was composed and performed in. However, in the following years, the conventional sabâ fourths extended quartertone interval returned back to the earlier practice, this time with excessive embellishments and variations in singing style depending on the imam or muezzin’s instant improvisation on each appearance of the recitation. It is an uncanny coincidence of change in the auditory practice of sabâ with respect to the changing conditions in social character of Turkiye, and its representation as a modern paragon of a moderate Islamic country as an in-between place, a bridge between East and West in international politics (Obama 2009; Tavernise and Arsu 2009), to a place that is “the country in the world hosting the highest number of refugees” (European Commission 2016).      

Figure 1. Sabâ makamı (Özkan 2006, 371)



In Turkiye, the first COVID-19 cases in mid-March 2020 were followed by total curfews in April 2020, with bans to access indoor spaces and to prohibit social gatherings. Upon this advancement, the mosque speaker systems in Ankara systematically started to broadcast prayers and pandemic announcements (Audio 6). The mosques in the soundscapes became an active apparatus in terms of risk control beyond its communal role as the ritualistic center.


Audio 6: Covid–19 announcement from a mosque, 2020


With the reopening of the mosques in Summer 2020 and Summer 2021 under pandemic conditions with reduced congregation in the inside of the mosque, praying began to happen in the public space outside of the mosque and overflowed beyond the mosque yard into the streets. This practice was present in the past in extraordinary occasions such as the first Turkified call to prayer in Hagia Sophia (Abalıoğlu 1932) with thirty thousand people gathered outside praying, and similarly the reopening of the sanctuary to prayer after nine decades (Gall 2020) due to high attendance and the low capacity of the edifice. This practice continued in ordinary places as well, as appeared in regular Friday praying in the Kızılay Square subway system, which would overflow into the public promenade since the late 1990s.

Through my continuous observations of the soundscapes of public spaces, I encountered a visible increase in non-native immigrants in Ankara central and local public spaces in comparison to the pre-2016 period. The increased participation of immigrants in religious events is visible in the outdoor participation in mosque public praying on the street, as well.

As I encountered in my conversations with native store owners and workers, customers, and residents surrounding the mosques and in the outskirts of the mosque auditory ranges, there is an increasing social friction between the Turkish speaking natives and Arabic speaking immigrants, as evident in an incident in 2021 (Gurdogan 2021, Associated Press 2021) and the eruption of innumerable incidents after that time; the common sense of social homogeneity is inevitably fluctuating. Even if some immigrants have basic Turkish speaking abilities, especially the younger generations, the lack of a common communal language naturally dissolves the older identity politics of singulars such as the national-secular-Turks and national-religious-Turks. Therefore, the remarks of religious soundscapes with new extensions procure a potential cohesion into a unity among the new Turkish community’s multiplicities. Nevertheless, unity culminates in silencing in acoustic ecologies.

In my observation, over a nearly two decade timespan, the open-space weddings of Ankara that are predominantly performed live with instruments such as zurna, davul, and electric bağlama, in addition to microtonal electric keyboards, and other public music performances stop during the mosque calls. While a material sound event is instantly exchanged with another one by regenerating a discursive manifestation due to the calls’ transcendental slip, the secular elite musical communities’ response to both practices are frequently in favor of a complete ignorance of both. This form of a multifaceted silence is quite informative about how the blurriness of material and discursive silences can lead to ignorance of the way the older framework between secular and religious communities is shaped in terms of musical manifestations of oppressed others. Thus, the silence in these new communal frictions has commonalities with the subaltern as a complete lack of voice of individual and communal differences in representation (Spivak 2000, 28), especially in consideration of the complete lack of non-binary voices, women’s voices, non-native speakers, altogether in the asymmetric inequality of ignorance (Chakrabarty 2000, 28) in narratives and historicities about the unified national-religious communal imaginary as such. I identify this condition as masculine monophony, due to the immanent transformation of the layers of vibrating actants (Bennett 2010) into a singular form of material voice via masculinization of the speaker with its recitation and call, in construction of the singular acoustic ecology. “Speaker” in these terms refers both to the person and the device.

In consideration of the mosques’ and ezan-s’ significant role in the construction of sense of place through material acoustic ecologies with the ideology of communal unity between the apex of the state and tebâ (vassal) since the early Ottoman times (İnalcık 2021, 212–213), the newly shaped communal differentiations with place-multiplicity problems urge us to consider the increasing force of the mosque calls in the same historical connotation of unity and political singularization with the acoustic ecologies that are being remade over and over again through monophony, letting the different voices and sounds of the place become silenced. This is a condition that I believe has parallel applicability to the limited discourses of music and soundscapes of international projections.

The division of the local and central broadcasts’ problematically bounded dialectic is a starting point that sets forth the main site of interrogation of this paper: why are particular actants of these acoustic ecologies recognized in singular forms and monophonies? Furthermore, why and in what way are these actants representations of an imaginary place? To what extent is this imagined place represented as independent from considerations of material force?

Theory of Singulars and the Discursive Problem of Materialism and Refrains

In nature, nothing has ever been still; there is no vibration, hue, affect, or percept to find in a singular form. Moreover, ‘nature’ is not a self-explanatory term. Everything happening is nature. All environments are by default natural, even the abstractions in a digital programming environment are contingent on material properties of nature. Nevertheless, nature is perceivable through the infinite actants of the place that are resistant to escapes in constant flux. The place of nature is the cosmos, the place of “literally everything—including all the vast numbers of nonhuman entities making human act” (Latour 2004, 454). Why, then, do we have the concept of sound as something that has been shaped with points, or punctus-contra-punctum? There is not a single point or any singularity in or of a place and ecosystem unless they all were carved into a conscious singularity in-itself. As apparent in the dilemma of this question and its answer, there is an intricate incompatibility between discourse and materialism relevant to the sound events, materiality of listening, and sense of place.

In terms of natural sciences, materialism situates the refusal of substance dualisms; this is why materialist discourse thrives on the consciousness of monism with slips to quasi-property dualisms. Karl Marx in the Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859) writes “it is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness” (Marx 1978, 4–5). Social consciousness, or any consciousness, is contingent, initially, upon the conflict of existing relations of production and material productive forces, even if the “material transformation of the economic conditions of production” necessitates the precision of “the legal and political superstructure, forces and relations are based on initially natural sciences” (ibid.). On this subject, for instance, Marx claims that legal relations and the forms of state can be “grasped neither from themselves nor from the so-called general development of the human mind” (ibid.) in response to thing-in-itself (Hegel 2010a, 309–310 & 426–430) and therefore, to its precursor, antinomies (Kant 1998, 459–559).

Marx was not systematically writing on the materiality of listening and the human psyche, although his thoughts on mind-body dualism nevertheless are directly relevant to unfolding the materiality of sound events, as he claims about transcendentalism, “the ideal is nothing but the material world reflected in the mind” not vice versa (Marx 1976, 102). Marx acknowledges the significance of the human sensory experience, as he states that “Sense-perception…must be the basis of all sciences” (Marx 1988, 113). This argument aligns with the initial position of Immanuel Kant, who contended that sensory experience was without doubt the first product that our understanding brings forth as it works on the raw material of sensible sensations” (Kant 1998, 127). At this point, in terms of sensory experience of the material forces, it is crucial to set forth materialism’s main difference from the schools of thought that it stands against. In other words, the necessity of remaking the discourse of Hegel and Kant developed to be applicable to real-life conditions. From the initial significance of sensory experiences, Kant departs from sensation and situates the mind’s own capacity as the purest form of ontology. In this ontology, aside from Kant’s fruitful conceptualism, he reaches notorious results such as positioning music as the lowest of all arts due to its lack of capacity to generate a priori synthetic concepts, or any concepts at all (Kant 1987, 293–296), and finally arriving at his cosmopolitanism (Kant 2006) as the apex ideology of a universal unionization of humanity, without being informed by the variations and differences of place, cultural nuances and contingencies, and eventually global problems such as colonialism and the Capitalocene (Malm and Hornborg 2014; Harraway 2015; Moore 2016).

In Marx’s theory of sensory experience, the material properties of sensation are not conceptually or discursively reductive to a universal; they are materially relevant to the unequal differences in social life. As Marx writes, “the care-burdened man in need has no sense for the finest play” (Marx 1988, 109). Furthermore, the subjectivity of human sensibility is in favor of “the rich man profoundly endowed with all the senses—as its enduring reality” (ibid.). The human imagination and sensory experience are variable beyond a singular universal projection and their schematics in themselves.


Materialism is a system of thought that approaches neither individual nor sensory experience as an abstract singular in a vacuum of its own ontological boundaries or a closed discourse of any kind. Rather, it systematically analyzes the individual and the community as an ecology within their complex relations of real-life connections to each other, as evident in Marx’s major work Capital (Marx, 1976). Furthermore, the concept of capital is in fact “value in motion,” as Marv Waterstone writes (Chomsky and Waterstone 2021, 153–202). Dialectical materialism proposes a discourse of the value, or the generic terms of capital, including cultural (Bourdieu 1984), creating a real world of material conceptualism involving singulars that are associated with the productive forces in flux, not the single imaginaries of the limited transcendental object-singulars qua universals as they exist in Kantian and Hegelian philosophy.


Therefore, materialism, in a Marxist sense and beyond, does not mean that discourse and conceptualism do not exist, but that both have been thought and written about mistakenly disregarding material reality. In the remaking process of the discourse, this is why there is an interlaced division between agencies and productive forces in flux, rather than a simple dichotomy and dualism.


On this division of where materialist discourse and transcendental discourse separate, I claim that listening as a material sensory experience blurs the discourses of transcendentalism as well as materialism, due to the affective quality of material forces. I call the actual material rhizomatic-affective force within and beyond music and sound, impetus, and its’ conceptual negation–which generates immaterial discourse and complicates material discourse–as origin-essence [kökenöz]. Origin-essence is a term that I coined as a response to the dialectical contingency of rhizome, a term that was systematically employed by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, and essence [öz] (Deleuze & Guattari 1987; Spinoza 1992). Rhizome was translated in Turkish as köksap (root–stem), derived from kök (root) and sap (stem). The rhizome is categorically associated with necessary concept of root in discourse, paradoxically as a thing-in-itself. When köksap (root-stem; rhizome) is considered in the soil, as in ‘creeping rootstalk,’ it is a term against the hierarchical concept of root, both botanically and metaphorically. If the soil is thought of as an ecology of any kind in terms of logos, kök-sap that is derived from the material reality transforms into discourse by gaining a negative conceptual relationship with the kök-öz (root-essence). Thus, köken-öz (origin-essence), the temporal ontological imperative beyond measure and quantities in discourse, references a synthetic singular springing out of the dialectic between köksap and kököz, and kök in-itself, altogether.


An origin-essence, as I define it, is the discursive singular in monadic form that generates the conceptualism that is contingent on the negation and reduction of material forces. Therefore, an origin-essence is always representative, relational, plural, and historicized, drawing lines of any kind.


Nature and sense of place are conceptually occupied with singulars, lines, and the fluxes manifested in-between the singulars generating their scaled plurals in every discursive attempt. Rhizome and root, multiplicity and singularity are closer to each other than any dualism can offer. If we continue to regenerate an authentic material singular, what we find is the new scaling-s of the non-scalable-s, oscillating between the analogies and differences of origin-essences. In consideration of a conceptual singular in discourse, in Leibniz’s term, the monad (Leibniz 1991, 68–81; Leibniz 1951, 533–552), the singulars and multiplicities both necessitate singularizations through another concept. This concept is the line between one singular and the other, or the singular to its own, in another terms the monad and dominant monad or dominant entelechy (Leibniz 1991, 78; Leibniz 1951, 547) in the continuous molar-molecular metamorphosis of the conceptual objects and lines. This is not only a direct line between two objects, like the continuous transformative regenerations of conceptually made lines of baroque-fractals (Deleuze 1993, 16–17 & 27), escaping towards and beyond the multiplicities of life. If a monad exists in material productive forces windowless, as Leibniz defined it, then there will not be any hierarchy or any lines to find, the inner “ties regulated on the inside” (Deleuze 1993, 111). This is why, practically, the monad either escapes to multiplicity, or escapes to the plurals of singulars ordered through conceptual hierarchies.

The singulars that do not escape are also a conceptual and discursive catch that appear on the lines [i.e.–of forces (Latour 1988, 172, 227), and –of flight (Deleuze & Guattari 1987, 188)] between molecular-singular-particles and molar-singular-universes. Every singular conceptually solidifies into an object-singular, which immobilizes the resonances in between the bidirectional lines of the molar and molecular singulars that both are on the lines and on each respective end of a conceptually made line; these object-singulars draw the folding-lines as the lines draw the points and singular universes in the discourse, out of the material forces, actors, and networks (Latour 1988, 229; Navaro-Yashin 2009; Piekut 2014). The lines connect the molecules and moles, parts and wholes, the analytics and synthetics, the phonemes and sentences, the tone and musical piece, the place singular to the planetary singular, and particles to the cosmos. The line of such is discursive; a stance of immaterial representation of the material forces. All lines are imagined in the still form of constants conventionally; on the contrary, they are the discursive constants of the temporal concepts, the fluxes.

Scaling is making plurals out of lines, generating a fixation on molar and molecular singulars—in constant escape—compiling conceptually higher order object-schematic relations. Scaling is concentrated with the consistency of singulars and multiplicities indefinitely, silencing the differentiations of auditory multiplicities. On the other hand, only print media representation or the conceptual object of sound appears in the form of a pictorially singular point that is in line with its contra-punctal variants. This is because the scaling of sound is subject to fluxes rather than ocular constants, such as musical notation or its singular signification in a musical concept.

Scales arise between plurals made out of the singulars, ordered in lines. This is why, without the perception of escape, the concept of multiplicity is a singular too. Altogether, in any projection of conscious ontology of singulars and multiplicities, what is lacking is the material reality of relations and the physical force that vibrates the cellular and cosmological networks of bodies engaged in life.

To this point I have addressed the conceptual aspects of singulars. In fact, a musical work or sound are affective for material reasons. Material does not depend upon discourse or conceptualism. Discourses and concepts alternatively are affective not because of their monadic nature, but because of their material stimulus. So does listening affect not because it is affective as a precondition in the discourse, but because the material is affective and affected. Talking, writing, speaking, and thinking through these affects come later as a totality of discourse. The very nature of the material force that affects, such as in music, is the impetus. Impetus in this sense is what Bergson has termed “multiplicity” (Bergson 2001; Deleuze & Guattari 1987, 8, 11–12), although impetus is a specific description of the multiplicity that is truly material–truly nonreductive to any theory of singulars of monadic representation.


During a close and careful instant of listening to the plane of immanence of any soundscape—the place where the conceptual sound event happens—sound is fickle when we describe it; there is always something escaping out of the discourse and from the clear fixed singular concept of sound. There is no vanishing point of this escape. Sound in plane of immanence, in nature, and in cosmic-place evades any revelation in terms of systematized conceptualism, full revelation of impetus and affect, or the higher order positioning of representative signs and marks of a singular universe projected as a place in-itself. On this subject, Ziad Fahmy critiques ocularcentrism in soundscape analysis with his critical comment on Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson (Fahmy 2011, 14) and underlines the significance of the ordinary material experience of sound. As Fahmy writes:


Indeed, engaging in or merely listening to or observing a conversation or a performance in the urban public sphere creates real and physically embodied (unimagined) communal identities, informing and structuring perhaps the grander, more idealized imagined communities described by Anderson. In other words, our very understanding of what we read, and whatever we may “imagine” because of it, is largely grounded on our own lived experiences (Ibid 14–15).


The reduction of the materiality of sound and listening creates discursive and material problems for sound studies to deal with, as appears in the debate between acousmatic music (Schaeffer 2017) and soundscape composition (Truax 1996). Barry Truax argues that “the acousmatic tradition of Schaeffer which starts, promisingly enough, with the complexities of real world or concrete sound…quickly detaches such sound from its source as an object for perception” (Truax 1996, 50). On this subject, Truax is correct, especially in his consideration of the conceptual kernel of concrete music, the sound object (Schaeffer 2017, 111). A sound object is not an object in the sense of a chemical substance, but a discursively proposed conceptual molar singular refrain (Deleuze & Guattari 1987, 310–350). A refrain as such is the reduction of the material sound perception contingency of listening to the territorialization of the sound event in flux. The multiplicity of the “acousmatic situation”[10] (Schaeffer 2017, 111) in a material sense, generates the conceptual singular sound object. This is why Truax’s argument against sound object is in fact not fully accurate; he falls into a discursive reduction to mononaturalism (Latour 2004, 453). First, Truax claims with regard to his and Murray Schafer’s concerns about music compositions’ connection to nature with a potential of a materialist stance, that “ultimately the composition is inseparable from some or all of those aspects of reality” (Truax 1996, 63). He continues, “the re-integration of the listener with the environment in a balanced ecological relationship” (ibid.) should be the goal of the soundscape composition. Then, his argument distances itself from the materiality of nature by invoking the humanistic culture-nature dichotomy: “The information we take in as listeners is balanced by our sound-making activities that, themselves, shape the environment. Acoustic ecology mirrors and complements the social and biological ecology” (ibid, 59). As a result, the soundscape composition becomes representative of a conceptual dichotomy, and the ecological proposal that it carries, rather than being attuned to the multiplicities of material ecology, is reduced to a discursive molar singular, reductive nature projections of deep ecology (Bookchin 1988), and single discursive representations and signs such as keynotes and soundmarks situating human and other–than–human actants in singular divisions and projections of nature in a dualism.


On the contrary, in a material place, there are no still objects or fixed agents in a foreground or background. There are only distances and variants of territorializations, the constant oscillation of deterritorializations, reterritorializations, and mediations. Territorialization might be mistakenly associated with the boundaries of allocated terra-soil; although, as in the marine life movement (Deleuze & Guattari 1987, 188, 326), deterritorialization happens in between convoluted slips of fluxes in our sense of place. These convoluted slips are transcendental, coming initially from materiality towards spiritual and transcendental discourse, not the other way around; the material soil and impetus become soil-place, a singular origin-essence-place, a plural intra-national-place, and then a molar inter-national place, until the molar singular cosmos and its cosmopolitics finally arise. All lines and plural-scaled lines of “forces of chaos, terrestrial forces, cosmic forces,” as Deleuze & Guattari write, “confront each other and converge in the territorial refrain” (Deleuze & Guattari 1987, 312).

The place differentiates its singular constants and singular flux, and creates refrains – constant re-and-de-territorializing temporal singulars that spring out from within material-place-flux relations. Aside from the projections of a singular universe, places and refrains multiply scalables and non-scalables in continuous fluxes of differentiations and simulacra of becomings (Deleuze 1990, 1–3; Deleuze & Guattari, 233–309). Refrains become the battlefield of the material, conceptualisms, and discourse.

For this reason, refrains differ from conceptual ocularcentric object-singulars; refrains are singularized events on the lines of fluxes. The sound object, the soundscape, the silence, and all refrains that we create appear as a territorial temporal organized chaos (Deleuze & Guattari 1987, 311). However, in the limited temporal fluxes that these refrains appear within in the form of a call, song, piece, or sound event, these refrains are not singulars until we re-singularize them in discourse. There is no single visual form of refrain, because all events are differentiated from immobilized object-singulars.

Refrains of auditory manifestations of a molar sound machine (ibid, 3, 299, 333–350)—i.e. a moment of listening to the polyphonic lines and molecular singulars of a composition or soundscape—are becomings in molar singular form that reserve the forces of singularization in bidirectional lines of historicity. However, refrains’ singularization does not occur at the site of an object-singular, rather they extend via the operation of fluxes. Refrains are, thus, not identical to sound events nor any object-singulars even if the event and object singulars appear in flux.

Fluxes, on the contrary, have predominantly been considered as a unified temporality as forming an object-singular by theories that search for authenticity within singular behavioral formalizations of the lines. For instance, according to Walter Benjamin, in the context of Western art, authenticity requires a unique origin-essence, the aura (Benjamin 1968, 220). The authenticity of the originality has a quasi-transcendental ritual function innate in the unique art object, in theory. During the historical transformation of mechanical art reproduction, this property of origin-essence switched to the functions of the practice-politics (Benjamin 1968, 224), such as the signification of nationalism that does not exist in the original generating a sign in art as an origin-essence of nationalism of this particular aura of the artwork. However, in reality, “reproduction precedes originality” (Sterne 2003, 221) because the material perception comes before a discourse and concept of the origin-essence. The monodirectional historical singularisms that the theory of art production situates in terms of aura as an origin-essence, as an object-singular, presume the production of the refrains as copies in flux. In reality, multiplicities of flux escape from singular directionalities, including the multiplicities of art-object or sound-object in material reproductions, and this is why the discursive origin-essence in form of aura cannot be extracted via historical deconstruction, by returning to the aura-in-itself. Reproductions make nature and are made by nature in constant multiplicities of flux.

On the one hand, in terms of fidelity–the idea of a sound recording’s innate and idealized capacity of representation–“the relation between original and copies have formed a central preoccupation of twentieth-century theories of communication and culture” (Sterne 2003, 217). The impetus affecting the conceptualism generating the singular-aura then singularizes the non-scalable affect-aura into a monodirectional historicity of “a nostalgia that accompanies reproduction” (Sterne 2003, 220). Therefore, the nature of artwork as the purest original in the plane of immanence “disappears” (ibid.) through the mediated aura in discourse and material impetus.

On the other hand, while the original-singular-aura, if it ever existed, has conceptually disappeared, the affect-aura in the plane of immanence situates new possibilities for the multiplicities of nature in reproduction, parallel to what acousmatic music offers. The original presumably existing aura, the reproduced aura of the copy, the lost aura of the original, are all manifolding or unifying origin-essences that carry the anxiety over loss of the commodification and value of a singular. Aura or any origin-essence contains both discursive singulars and, simultaneously, the multiplicities of auras of possibilities, i.e. origin-essences reduced to discourse or those that subsequently affect material reality; the impetus of all possibilities outside of this dialectic remake each sound in a way that allows it to be affected. This is why discourse is not simply an antagonist to material, for everything is in flux, lacking a singular ending point, including the discourse and conceptualism.

Let us consider Karlheinz Stockhausen’s teleological singularization of sound. According to Stockhausen, the points in Punkte are followed by Contra-punkte (Maconie 2016, 102 & 210–211) as masses, and later by Gruppen as aggregates (Stockhausen 1989, 37–43) of singulars. This teleology differs from Momente, because the momentform (Kramer 1978, 37–43) escapes from the singular points (Maconie 2016, 506). Stockhausen was never able to truly formalize the moment in terms of refrains the same way that he formalized object-singulars because of differentiations of object-singulars and flux-singulars. Although with respect to the transformative potentiality between object-singulars and flux-singulars, Stockhausen figured out that object-singulars are in fact sensations that are accelerated or decelerated events in flux (Stockhausen 1959). The same applies to flux singulars, since all singulars escape towards multiplicity. The escape of a refrain (that appears as the scaled line of a flux) behave as an electrical current with vital force (Bergson 1911; Deleuze 1991, 94–113; Bennett 2010, 63–64) without directional outputs and causal singular subject-object relations. In this case, is the so-called vital force in electric current an infinitesimal network of unlimited possibilities, and isn’t the moment of flux a molar object singular to be tailored in-and-for anthropogenic universalism? Nature according to vital materialism exceeds any simple mechanistic description of life events (Bennett 2010, 24–28), and materialism in general evades from oppositions as premises of a universe in which object-singulars are at the center in both ends of the lines of multiplicities and singulars. At the same time, the argument of claiming that ‘a vital force in a moment of flux is a pure material multiplicity’ has a transcendental slip unless the escaping forces are determined and mediated.

Events are historicized with the lines between singulars in events, and escaping lines separate themselves from historicities. The singulars, the actants or actors in forms of lines (of forces), therefore, signify the knowledge extracted out of the event, while the other lines (of flights), the natural event, are pruned, as the natural rhizomatic multiplicity of a tree is pruned into a trunk and branches into conceptual analysis and reflected in the syntactic representations (Chomsky 1957; Chomsky 2015; Lerdahl and Jackendoff 1983), eventually constructing scales and applied schematics. A scale, in this broader sense, has already been scaled, interdependent of the event and historicity. The scales are scalable in and of themselves and at the same time are ready to scale the lines of becoming. Scaling non-scalabilities (Tsing 2019, 143–162) situates the correlation between knowing of the natural multiplicities towards a construction of singulars. The collections of these singulars are what we call the universals, universalizing place into projections of human-made universes differentiated from the natural multiplicities of the universe. The history of this universe we make is one directional; the constant of the past makes the future. Historicity, on the other hand, is bidirectional, making the past and future in both directions; the event is always in escape, so too is the sound event.

For instance, in the TRT broadcasts of 2016, the media signification generated a simulacrum of events “contesting both model and copy” (Deleuze 1990, 2) via bidirectional historicity of the event through the line of historicities in relation to the earlier broadcasts that had happened during the 1980 military coup (Cumhuriyet 2017). The relation between history and event (Deleuze 1995, 170) bidirectionally expands towards past and future together as (pure) becomings (Deleuze 1990, 1–3), constituting a representational repetitive media signification of the event as a refrain, without an origin. At the same time, such an event will land on a pseudo-origin-essence of an ideological historical singularism. This is an example of how a refrain based on an origin-essence can be plurally generated through discourse that exists beyond object-singulars.

In ecologies, history, historicity, events, flux, and becoming differ from each other. The refrain’s complexity arises in this differentiation; refrain is a temporal singular in flux ready to be historized, and is different than the singular conceptual object of a singular snapshot of the event or the continuation of the event. Refrain is in the middle of the fluxes of events of becomings where the events are scaled and manifest ecology and sense of place.

Upon this theoretical basis, I propose that refrains—both through narrow definitions of a musical territorial self-contingent momentary return, and through broader social and ontological definitions in terms of all discursively scaled singular fluxes—play a significant role in the common sense of national-religious identity making and sense of place through remaking origin-essences. This is evident in the peoples’ participation in the July 15th event predominantly to the refrains of tekbir-s during ezan-s, in contrast to the common understanding of mosque calls as constant musical social marks (Aydin 2020; Gill 2016) with single signification outcomes that are able to stimulate the communal unity instantly with a cohesive notion of faith. This singular outcome is directly associated with historicities of the precise separation of the soundscapes and social belonging into silencing between the monophonies of Islamic-nativity and secular-nativity. The main power of the refrain is in its scaled pluralization that differs from the concepts of the object singulars in constant form of immobilized consistency. In object-singulars that sensorially or conceptually reveal themselves, such as the aura, the escaping lines towards multiplicity are immediately evident: first, the material consistency differs from the concept of the object and, second, the concept of the object immediately dissolves into singular abstraction imagined in monodirectional historicity. This is why, whether molar or molecular, all conceptual object-singulars and their origin-essences can be easily captured as falsities of the material conditions or differentiations from the material properties.

However, since the capture of the failure of the refrain’s singularization is contingent on the material flux, and since this flux is conceptualized through the lines that are made out of the pluralized scaling and schematics of singulars, it is harder to catch the singularity’s falsity in the refrains. In event transformations, the slow processes feel more stable than the quicker event changes, because the violent forces of nature are clandestine due to our perception of the slowness of their pace (Nixon 2011, 6). On the other hand, when the event changes are quickened enough, they become stable singulars (Stockhausen 1959). This requires a temporal scaling range of the refrains; different from the universalization of the conceptual object-singulars, the refrains cannot be imagined as immobilized constants. At the same time, the plurals of the scaled refrains are always prone to singularize into object-singulars; as they generate the styles, genres, keys, keynotes, and soundmarks, these singulars simultaneously devour each other and regenerate themselves beyond the predictable schematics. “A sound can always be drowned out by another” (Chion 2016, 10), as Michel Chion writes; however there is something linking, submerging, and unifying the sounds, “the immense breath of the sea” (ibid.).

When the refrains are imagined in terms of object-singulars, they either become more noticeably false representations of multiplicities or they become less noticeable and dissolve into the singulars. When the refrains turn into object-singulars, such as in musical customs, while the recognitions of these refrains start to singularize into marks and significations, they become less and less genuine about being a natural sound in a material sense. The fundamental problem of every musical design is that this potentiality to become first refrain, then object-singular, eventually generates a singular signification of sounds that are reduced to singulars, and finally to an origin-essence representative of the cosmological origin-essence (Spinoza 1992).

The main political potential power of national music and religious music is dependent on those refrains that are singularized in the sequence that I have outlined. However, this form of singularization is far more intertwined within the real-life condition as appears in our subject matter, rather than a singularization in limited discursive terms of musical example, or a proposal for a single soundscape, a sound event, or a sound kernel. The multiplicity of the acoustic ecology reduces into the argument: “Every community will have its own soundmarks,”[11] in Murray Schafer’s (1994) words (293). According to Schafer, and referring to national anthems, for instance, the soundmark as a discursive origin-essence of the observable environment “deserves to make history as surely as a Beethoven symphony” (ibid., 239). Without regard to the ecological or nationalistic goals, the sound that has already lost its material properties and been abstracted without its natural-material productive relations, simply becomes an origin-essence to be scaled into a new signification. In our case, this signification is reterritorialization to an exteriority of the modern state apparatus, as the composition of the war machine in Deleuze & Guattari’s terms (Deleuze & Guattari 1987, 351–423, 513), such as the cosmopolitanism that is associated with Europeanness, and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy scaled into the refrain of the soundmark of Europe, reverberating on the still form of national origin-essence of Cosmopolitan Europeanness. The material refrain has been exchanged with the discursive one, the material sound is exhausted until the national origin-essence arises as the war machine, both as in the exteriority of the state apparatus and in the center of it, with relative opposition and “sovereign unity” (ibid., 351) of the state, all together creating the state of status quo within its molar national-soil place imaginary.

The refrains of musical creation, soundscapes, and mosque broadcasts’ crossings, therefore, have been a significant focus of attention of the state in communal construction in Turkiye, as appeared in the archival recordings of Turkified ezan (Fahri Bey; Kaynak, n.d.), the reports of Hagia Sophia praying in 1932 (Abalıoğlu 1932, 1), and in the recent reopening of Hagia Sophia to praying (Erdoğan 2020). The material sound and discourse are intertwined in this significance, in favor of the discourse. In the earlier examples of Turkified ezans, mainly the language was translated as opposed to the systematic differentiation of the hicaz based çeşnis, which stayed similar to the Arabic recitation conventions; therefore, theoretically, the makam was analogous to the convention and its attached national-origin-essence (Abalıoğlu 1932, 1) as more heavily generated in the discourse. However, even if the makam stays the same, since the language translation also modifies the recitation of the refrains, therefore, the material of the sound, the impetus and its affect, modifies, and the new refrain becomes an intrusion of the origin-essences of the original refrain as evident in Abalıoğlu’s words “Even though the makam [of the new call to prayer] is the same as in Arabic [version], the affect in Turkish [version] is greater” (ibid.)[12] This dialectical clash between two origin-essences takes its discursive form around two poles–one religious, the other national. Both are ignorant of materialism even if both spring out of the material.

The tekbir, as the refrain coming in the beginning and ending of all ezan practices, territorializes conceptual authenticities such as national-religious belonging via complex auditory-milieu (Deleuze & Guattari 1987, 313–316). The refrains create singularization in the fluxes with other singularizations until the molar singular and its power arise. Sela and ezan in this sense differ from each other because of the lack of this object-singular monolithic motto-refrain in sela; even though sela has a distinctive refrain, its differentiation increases the power of the refrains in ezan. In the annual July 15th mosque calls, only sela-s are recited, and ezan-s are preserved for their original ritualistic occasions. By doing this, the potential molar object-singular power of ezan’s inclusion to the extraordinary event is also preserved. The power of refrain is in this in-betweenness; the refrains should neither singularize nor multiply, only continuously reterritorialize into the molar singular of the common sense, and immediately deterritorialize to avoid being caught. This is what has happened and what will happen with any socially defined power of music, sound, or silences that springs out as a refrain without overuse and material loss in an auditory place.

Sound via refrains has singularization power as social bonds appearing in other contexts, such as the religious-national common sense in Egypt (Henderson et al. 2013). The rhetorical and symbolic-semiotic contingencies situated within the mosque calls, flag, and freedom (Aydin 2020) are woven into each other within the molar singulars of nation-state rhetoric of state power and the homogeneity of the community that regenerates out of the lines in between the refrains. On this very issue, according to Deleuze & Guattari (1987), sound has a unique territorialization power of communal construction such that music “draws people and armies into a race that can go all the way to the abyss” (302). This power comes from the mediation of the material impetus of sound and material discourse, from refrains scaled into the imaginary frictions and resonances of origin-essences in lines.

In what follows, I will focus on how material silences are scaled into discursive ones, in light of the topic of modernization and monophony, and the construction of a Turkishness capable of silencing material acoustic ecology.

Cosmopolitanism and Modernization of Monophony


Two months later, I am passing Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque again, to get a Covid-19 vaccination at the Ankara City Hospital. The mosque speakers that were previously announcing the curfews, risks, and warnings for social distance are silent. A long line of people is overflowing onto the street from the hospital gate, squeezed tight and restless. People write their Turkish ID numbers on a piece of paper with a single pen that is handed from one person to the other in line. I wonder to myself: is there no immigrant or undocumented person in this line? A loud ordinary afternoon ezan begins; murmurs of complaint dissolve within the monophony of this refrain. Worries about the disease, and multiplicities of the new-ordinary risk community, are so intense that we, as the people in line, only see and hear the people in front of us, the aggregate murmur, and the image of the one long homogenous line we are in. What makes this a line: the anxiety of the microbiological risk, a pen, and a standard number of national identity? The individual differences in the ecology around us transform into a social singular, one speaker becomes a sound-singular and makes us belong to this scaled line of monophony ordering the chaos of material ecology, all together creating the instances of a singular object of life of the singular place and its singular cosmopolitics. I will go back in time a bit to explain this concept and its significance.


The modern history of Turkish nativity (Navaro–Yashin 2002, 8–9) and cosmopolitanism are deeply entangled with the terms of modernization, Westernization, and secularism (Kandiyoti 1996, 222–241) in Turkiye, always orbiting around the binary oppositions of Islamist-Turks and Secular-Turks, manifesting in monophonies, and regenerating the East–West dichotomy over and over again. This runs parallel to the previous subject on the Turkification of ezan and the binary clash between the national and religious origin-essences. On the other hand, in the historical context, even if the Ottoman-Turkish politics are integral to European history, history writing in its counterpart significantly separates it from the imaginary of the West. For instance, on the subject of late Ottoman modernization, as Marshall Hodgson writes, “It was natural that Turks should think of Modernization not as a process of rivalling Europe but simply as joining it…  Turks must become European” (Hodgson 1974, 250). The monolithically imagined West and its history writing with contingencies on international politics create the dialectical negation of the East under modernization, and both East and West antagonize each other to consume and (re)produce their relative negations in-themselves in search for a true origin-essence in discourse. As a precondition, modernization manifests itself as an origin-essence being made through fixed place and social imaginaries. The cosmopolis and cosmopolitanism are place and ruling universal imaginaries with ideological programs as appointed with the paragon of modern-place imaginary that arises in terms of singular ends of the Oriental-Occidental binaries.

To better understand these terms in discourse and their detrimental reduction in acoustic ecologies, I will respectively set forth the historical problem of the modernization of monophony, within and beyond its narrowly defined musical signification.

The concept of Turkishness, as with the other nation-imaginaries in the world, is not a homogenous identity-term, although, the general concept has always positioned itself in soil-ideology-based singulars, necessitating historical and theoretical origin-essences. On this subject, political scientist Lisel Hintz situates the generic four main composite ideological singulars in Turkiye as “Republican Nationalism, Pan-Turkic Nationalism, Ottoman Islamism, and Western Liberalism” (Hintz 2018, 34–57). While there are far more complex ideologies outside the mainstream of public life (Hintz 2018, 43), the historical tendency has been to situate these ideologies in opposing singulars under binaries such as Islamist-Secularist, Eastern-Western, and modernism against traditionalism as evident in elections since 2018 in which political parties have formed alliances (Resmi Gazete 2018). This political dualism gradually amplifies polarization of the historical revivals and fractions (Euronews 2022; Cumhuriyet 2022a & 2022b) by exclusion of internal oppositions evident in the recent political scene represented in media. Eventually the discourses remake the pluralisms of the historical origin-essences in fixed terms.

In today’s Turkiye, there is a general misbelief that these divisions originated from the modern, post-World War I secularist movement’s opposition to the religionism of the Ottoman Empire, as a context that belongs only to the post-World War I framework. About this subject, Attilâ İlhan reminds us that the Young Turk movement in the Ottoman state signified the fundamental clash of this subject far beyond the modern Turkish descriptions (İlhan 2003, 81; Hodgson 1974, 256–259). On this discussion, Halil İnalcık explains the significances of proto-nationalism in Ottoman patriotism of the Tanzîmat (Reorganization) period (İnalcık 1992, 29; 2015 Vol I, 350–351; 2015 Vol II, 41–42), while at the same time reminding us that Ottomanism is still living in today’s culture including in the musical tradition (İnalcık 2015 Vol II, 42), thus there is no origin of the revival nor a need for one. The historical and ongoing problem of modernization that is juxtaposed to the origin-essence of this kind was predominantly shaped between first the Young Ottomans (Hodgson 1974 Vol III, 252) and later the Young Turks movement against the apex state power Sultanate-Caliphate, in particular Abdulhamid II with his pan-Islamism (Hodgson 1974 Vol III, 253–256). Contingent on international politics, and its motives such as European colonialism with history writing, the country has become situated within a complex synthesis of West-East negations.

As Mostafa Minawi writes, during the Berlin Conference (1884 –1885), which signified the changing politics of European colonialism towards North Africa as an economic interest of colonization rather than the old form of a territorial colonization, the Ottoman Empire was still considered as only a “semicivilized” (Minawi 2016, 9) power, and excluded from European colonialism and from historical narratives. In opposition to the historically exclusive narratives in favor of Europeanism exclusively via determination of the uncivilized-places, without technological interests, through the Ottoman Empire’s late 18th century modes of colonization that moved beyond the old forms of territorial colonization, such as the Damascus-Medina telegraph line, the Empire aligned with the new technical modes of reclaiming the “‘hegemonic space’ of imperial power” (Minawi 2016, 131).

The West, as equal to “semicivilized” (Minawi 2016, 9) Turkishness, is a discursive otherization made in favor of authorization of European colonialism. The cosmopolitan “metropole as the-center of imperial power” (Minawi 2016, 12) as civilized-place is differentiated from the frontiers or any uncivilized place. In fact, in writings, the social life in Turkish cultural centers and cities in the early 19th-century was depicted as modelling the European ideals of the cosmopolis as such. As Maureen Jackson writes: “contemporaneous residents and travelers alike have referred to Mediterranean port cities like Izmir, Beirut, and Alexandria, as well as certain neighborhoods of Istanbul, as ‘cosmopolitan’ and frequently as a ‘Little Paris,’ reflecting a European claim to cosmopolitanism and its attributes” (Jackson 2012, 338). In these images of the cosmopolitan city, in reality not as homogenous as presented, as in İlhan’s words “narrated Paris” [rivayet Paris”][13] (İlhan 2003, 28), this singularism of cosmopolitanism is an intellectually constructed one. From the origin-essence of the West, the dialectical inversion of the East springs out. This inversion  generates the scaled synthesis of the Turkish origin-essence of in-between place imaginary with a common bridge analogy that corresponds to anything but material properties of the place.

Turkish or Western cosmopolitanisms, in this sense, refer not only to the singularized rights of the equal humanity as Kantian cosmopolitanism offers, even if these programs are tightly connected to the Kantian cosmopolitanism (Kant 2006, 67–109). Rather, they prune their non-European/non-modern differentiations and scale the place’s social life aligning with singular cosmos and singular intellectual knowledge (Latour 1988, 229–230) in the process of continuous becomings of the West or East in search for the origin-essence of authenticity. Thus, mixtures of Westernization and the ideology of modernization are roughly a form of singularism–an intellectual pruning and scaling project.

Upon this historical basis of the cosmopolitanism of the in-between place, the acoustic ecology in the monophonic discourse of makam situates itself in the heart of the political projects of the cosmopolitan dialectic of modernism. Makam in this discursive program manifests an underdeveloped form of polyphony of technological advancement belonging to the Western origin-essence. Subsequently, ecology’s logos finds the negative of itself (Hegel 2010, 39) in the discourse of the uncivilized.

Makams and Western scales are discursively differentiated from each other in separate wings of Eastern-Western historicity, as occurred in the historical differentiation of the intellectual secularism and Islamism that divides a complex society into simple binaries. However, contrary by nature, makams and Western scales are variants of each other.

Among the musicians who work with the Turkish makam system, there is a common differentiation of makams in comparison to Western scales. Ethnomusicologist Denise Gill explains this concept: “…Turkish classical makams are generally not conceived as collections of pitches (dizi-s) but are rather understood as groupings of microtonally inclusive intervals (aralık-s) that make up makam” (Gill 2017, XIX). Gill adds: “Makam should thus be understood as a complicated set of rules that govern precomposed improvisational forms, including intra-makam or multi-makam modulations” (Gill 2017, XX). In this case, the “makam was more about moving through intervallic space in time than about pitch…” (Gill 2017, 168).

Dmitri Tymoczko (2004) further describes the scale as a “series of pitches ordered by register” (221). What is missing in the narratives of makam in terms of East-West division is an awareness that “this ordering underwrites a measure of musical distance distinct from the more general metrics provided by chromatic semitones and frequency ratios” (ibid.). Therefore, it is a general misinterpretation to describe the so-called Western-scale as pitch-centric limited functions in vacuum only and makam as extended intervallic temporal relations. It is similarly incorrect to situate them in the historical narrative of otherness in terms of the East-West dichotomy.

The variety of techniques, such as seyir (course-trajectory-line) with its directionality within a range of central keynote and usûl (manner-the way-tempo-rhythm), changes the course of makams and saves makams from becoming a collection of abstract musical object-singulars, redirecting the performance of a variety of auditory events in bidirectional lines of scaled plurals and refrains. However, by this very reason, makams are scalable refrains. They have been generally described in theory and practice as an open system of potentials. However, this openness does not appear in total freedom, especially in the returns of the refrains of non-scalable fluxes. They always reterritorialize into origin-essences with excessive linear possibilities of expansions through çeşni-s as local bi-focal decentricities and geçki-s as deterritorializations of makams. Makams always arrive to karar-s and asmakarar-s (cadences), just as scales do.

The Turkish makam system and Turkish music conventionally have an aural pedagogic tradition. This is why, even though the concept of the singular pictorial pitch exists especially in modern theories, pitch does not simply apply to makam. This particular issue has been misinterpreted as the incompatible difference between two holistic systems, as if Western music proposes a completely pitch centric, logical-conceptual object-singular methodology of music and Turkish music proposes a practical antagonist to that system of thought. As a matter of fact, despite the general understanding of difference, makams and so-called Western music scales are quite alike.

In terms of fluxes, excluding the tetrachord oriented inner relations, makams and Western scales share common concerns such as efficient voice leading (Tymoczko 2008, 1–49), linear continuation schematics such as in Robert Gjerdingen’s Galant Schemata sets forth (Gjerdingen 2007), and advanced relationships that exceed the definitive hierarchical models of circle of fifths as they appear for instance in Richard Cohn’s Audacious Euphony (Cohn 2012). These theoretical similarities occur in practice; makams and Western scales are sensorial and logical variants of each other, constituting auditory events with a web of multi-intervallic relationships that apply to the practical continuation of musical improvisation and composition. On the other hand, within the fundamental tenets of tone-centric European historicity (Tenney 1988), musicality situates the dialectic between dissonance and consonance. The very essence of the makam system, with its basis in just-intonation, has a similar trajectory based on consonance theory (Helmholtz 1954), but varies in terms of simultaneities, namely so-called monophony. From a purely conceptual perspective, both makam and Western scales are systems of singulars that are categorically and schematically aligned. From a cognitive perspective, the microtonal differences between makam and Western music scales are correlated through approximations in terms of tolerance ranges in intervals (Tenney 1988), geometric approximations (Shepard 1982), and transformations (Shepard 2004, 17).

As an example, with the application of the concept of approximating the comma differences (approximately 14–16 cents lowered intervals between 2-3 & 6-7 scale degrees than G major), G major and Rast Makamı (fig. 2) are reductive to each other. With regard to this particular feature, in the transition from the Ottoman roots to the new national Turkish identity, the approximations of the makams and transcribing of folk tunes for Western music instruments became a common technical interest among the musicians and scholars with the higher goal of cultural modernization. These approximated melodies allowed the Turkish composers to compose harmonic-counterpointal accompaniments based on perfect consonances that avoided Europeanized mark of tonal music connotations without encountering the temperament-caused dissonance problems. The long-lasting problematic of the “polyphonization” (Hindemith 1935; Aracı 2010, 336–348) of Turkish music was engendered through this very condition.

Figure 2. Rast makamı (Özkan 2006, 137)


The theoretical summary of the political idea of Turkish music’s modernization in search for origin and authenticity as opposed to the Ottoman precursors has historically been shaped around two generic issues relevant to the particular adaptability problematics of makams to the Western scales. These two issues are, as Paul Hindemith reported through his official assignment by the Turkish government: first, the configuration of the folk tunes via print media representations and their justifications in practice and recordings therefore contingent on the revivabilities in media circulation, archives, and the memory of the origin-essence of the tunes; and, second, polyphonization of these tunes with a harmonic system based on evasion from the imperfect consonances in order to differentiate from the European tonal or atonal traditions, and to overall situate national Turkish music in the broader definition of modernization with a variant of Turkish-origin-essence, both distinct and in alignment with the modern polyphony-mark of the European origin-essence meanwhile in opposition to the monophony-mark of the Oriental origin-essence in the form of “Arab influence” (Hindemith 1935).

These theoretical focuses aimed for the higher nationalistic goals of remaking the citizen identity via excavating the sound of authenticity from the fixed national soil imaginaries. They were also excavated from ideals based on presumptions of purely preserved cultural origins of communal imaginaries frequently attached to the figure of the peasant. In both cases, this was done in order to find the origin-essence of Turkishness. This is evident in the writing of leading personalities who applied these ideals to their musical productions, research, and philosophies, such as Ahmed Adnan Saygun (Saygun 2009). This musical ideology of regenerating the modernized and universalized Turkish nationalism through music was not only representational, it constituted the state mechanism with a political ideology that incorporated a national acoustic ecology as evident in Atatürk’s official speech in parliament (Atatürk 1934). The general discussion among scholars problematically continues today coalescing excessively around the second theoretical focus, polyphonization. However, I argue that one of the most significant concerns in the ideology of regeneration of national music has been the concept of refrain and the discursive terms of production of origin-essences, rather than the simple theoretical descriptions of the horizontal and vertical simultaneities of the folk tunes. Furthermore, the dead-end of the negation of monophony and polyphony should be remade with the examinations of what I refer to as material multiphony as the qualitative and rhizomatic auditory correspondent of material impetus of the multiplicities of sound events (Bergson 2001; Deleuze & Guattari 1987; Bennett 2010), rather than the schematics of limited singulars of sound objects ordered in lines through monophony and polyphony.

In order to present the refrain and its discursive signification, I examined the frequently referenced ethnomusicological study conducted by Béla Bartók and Ahmed Adnan Saygun in 1936. Through a close reading of two specific manuscripts written by Bartók (Bartók 1976) and Saygun (Saygun 1976), it can be seen that, in relation to the field recordings of a selected folk tune, Mavilim (Bartók 2014), and Saygun’s composition Mavilim in Op.41 (Saygun 1968), the main artistic and ethnomusicological aim focused on the archival capturing of refrains of common origin-essence between the Hungarian and Turkish Yörük singing practices. In the example of Saygun’s Mavilim in Op.41 (fig. 3) Mesut İktu performance (Saygun 2010), the auditory experience is clearly different from the original refrain in the recordings of Hatice Deliklioğlu and Emine Muktat[14] (Bartók 2010) except for the scaled refrains that bind them in a molar singular authenticity. All three refrains can only be the variants of each other in a discursive attempt. In the Bartók recordings, the microtonal singing and mannerisms evade the metrically divided pitch of the print media representation that exist in Saygun’s Op.41 notation and in Bartók (fig. 4 & 5) and Saygun’s (fig. 3) transcriptions. The main consideration that connects these auditory events is only the pseudo singular origin-essences that are represented via refrains of the national-soil. They are not informative with regard to their material properties or impetus.

Deleuze & Guattari, writing about Gisele Brèlet’s words on Bartók’s musical aims, inquire: “beginning from popular and territorial melodies that are autonomous, self-sufficient, and closed in upon themselves, how can one construct a new chromaticism that places them in communication, thereby creating ‘themes’ bringing about a development of Form or rather a becoming of Forces?” (Deleuze & Guattari 1987, 349). In this sense, the refrains that Bartók and Saygun found constitute a singularized force in fluxes by deviating from the material acoustic ecology, as evident in their short fieldwork and analysis on it– refrains that can only be discursive singular such as a national refrain because of their reduction to origin-essence under the name of a thing-in-itself such as nationalism and a problematic singularization of the authenticity of the tunes.

Refrains and monophony are scaled in the discourse by staying in the historical and theoretical origin-essences of Turkishness, and by silencing their impetus, resulting in a significant reduction of the material forces of place and its acoustic ecology. I believe, because of this reduction, İlhan critiques the modernization in music that is remade in limited cosmopolitan ideals of the Turkish music composers as an unattainable abstraction of Western models (İlhan 2003, 79–82). Social imaginaries and cultural production in Turkiye continuously join such discursive exclusions of modernization in limited terms for an exchange of obtaining an abstract authenticity in search of the origin-essence.

To conclude, I will look at how discursive silencing aligns with monophony over and beyond discourse and materiality, and how the discourse of modernization scales ecology, its forces, and its agents in singulars.

Figure 3. Excerpts from Saygun’s Mavilim in On Türkü Op.41 (Saygun 1968, 30–34).



Figure 4 & 5. Bartók transcriptions of Mavilim: 48a. H. Deliklioğlu & 48b. E. Muktat (Bartók 1968, 143–145).


Three Problems of In-between Cosmopolitanism: Ecological (Un)consciousness, Masculine Monophony, and Discursive Silences

Today’s cosmopolitanism has been significantly informed by a political ecology that continuously thrives together towards a robust proposal of materialism involving mediations on nature, production, anthropogenic impact, and a (post)humanist view of morality (Heise 2008; Braidotti 2013; Harraway 2015; Moore 2016; Chakrabarty 2021). At least in the humanities and social sciences, this discussion emerges in the form of an ecological consciousness. Ecologically conscious cosmopolitanism has no single voice (Tsing 2005, 121–154). The predominant narrative of cosmopolitanism on the other hand still presents singulars via the operation of a common-sense; therefore, I call it an ecological (un)consciousness of the in-between place, a consciousness with a prefix of negation referring to binaries of dialectics, towards the material reality and waves of socially bounded ecological risks in acoustic and political ecologies. This (un)consciousness maintains the ghosts of the dialectic negation in the historical form of a Kantian unification and manifolds of the cosmos by appropriating Kant’s theory in the most arbitrary sense; first by freeing the absolute state power from the local and the global abstract power relations and retaining the abstract power over interventions of the negated territorial forces of international and intranational place imaginaries embedded into the idea of continuously sculpting red legislative lines and economic sanctions; and second, by localizing the freedom of action and differences in an acoustic ecology scalable into discursive origin-essences, with abstract rules centered around the union of the state and its nomadic war machine (Deleuze & Guattari 1987, 351–423).

These discursive reductions cause the long-lasting history of state power’s involvement in the ordinary (Stewart 2007) and the modern sense of place in Turkiye, with its various interruptions and restrictions (for example, recent political movements surrounding women and LGBTQ+ rights), to interpolate an environmental (un)consciousness. Acoustic ecologies and soundscapes therefore deterministically overemphasize the politics of a singular, masculine monophony, which as my analysis above suggests, is frequently representative of public calls and broadcasts.


By calling an ecology in a politically acoustic sense, or simply an auditory event, monophonic, I refer to any purely universal origin-essence scaled in a refrain’s linear singularity (equally in music and in social imaginaries). This emphasizes the universal epistemology of an ecology to generate a common sense or any higher order singular in fixed terms, such as the national refrains. Masculine monophony acts as if it generates itself from the nature or the thing-in itself, although it is contingent on three particular discursive silencing in a socially contingent acoustic ecology: (1) silencing the difference of women voice as the transcendental dialectic inversion, generating an antithesis all together as a monolithic subordinate or negation with its members’ as a full antagonist, (2) only including women and only by appropriating women as a genderless or masculinized minority (Kandiyoti 1996) to generate a singular identity category, and (3) silencing the differences of the masculine members of the  community to generate a higher order origin-essence, such as one nation, one motion, one voice, one meaning, resonating in monophony.

Monophony of this kind stands on the silencing produced by discursive and material forces, as in the masculine Anthropo–cene (Braidotti 2013, 65–66; Gundogan–Ibrisim 2021). Here “modern-men” (Schafer 2012) stand for humanity as a whole, singularizing the whole cosmos into a molar singular that behaves as an essence of the collective imagination. The variations and differentiations (Deleuze 1994) of the rhizomatic social imaginaries that are in continuous flux singularize into tight-knit programs of nationalism and internationalism. While the proposals of the genderless individual in political and public life (Kandiyoti 1996) that are extracted from the cyborg and nomad (Haraway 1991) joining into the performative masculine monophony (proposals introduced as an alliance of a singular masculine actant), true material forces in flux remain silent. The origin that is outside of the singular universe, such as a cyborg individual or community, Haraway writes, “has no origin story in the Western sense—a ‘final’ irony since the cyborg is also the awful apocalyptic telos of the ‘West’s’ escalating dominations of abstract individuation, an ultimate self-untied at last from all dependency, a man in space” (Haraway 2016 Manifesto, 8). The genderless universals and masculine monophony in listening proposes ill-defined morally superior music and (musico) logos that are not contaminated by any distraction of the singularized program such as the libidinal (McClary 1991, 54), bifurcating into cosmopolitanism on one hand (Kant 1795), and conventional Secular–Islamic divisions on the other hand. The problem of music’s modernization is necessarily contingent on refrains that are scaled into the pitfalls of monophonies, the materiality of the acoustic ecology becomes representational; material forces, agents, and actants are discursively silenced in (re)production and development. According to Ulrich Beck, through the “overdevelopment of productive forces,” the dark side arises because “in the modernization process, more and more destructive forces are also being unleashed, forces before which the human imagination stands in awe” (Beck 1992, 20).

The destructive forces, without regard to their material or discursive manifestations, are catalysts of reduction to origin-essences, generating discursive silences that deviate from the materiality of the silence–understood here as a resonance in acoustic ecologies. Material silences in this case are markedly different than discursive ones. In 1957, composer, poet, and philosopher John Cage suggested that there is no silence in nature (Cage 1961, 8–13). Approximately thirty years later, in 1986, filmmaker Vladimir Shevchenko realized a static interference and noise in his 35mm footage that he had shot three days after the explosion of the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor in the silent Exclusive Zone (Schuppli 2020). Auditory and visual noise caused by radioactivity in the environment had been captured with his equipment which he thought had been a malfunction of the gear and which his bodily sensation had failed to perceive. The recent human encounters and consciousness of environmental risks have been remaking sounds’ definitions, switching silence from pure musical imagination of stasis into multiplicities that are within and beyond direct human psyche and sensation. Silence, in this article or in general, refers to the very division of the material and discourse: on one hand the stasis of sound in discourse, on the other hand the material silence that is full of noise and differences that is, however, redirected to the discourse by the dominant singular voice, the masculine monophony. Material monophony as appears in Turkish music theory also differs from the discursive monophony, the singularity and origin-essence that reduces into the masculine monophony. Silence, as a whole, is therefore the potential auditory differentiation that is innate in life, discursively contingent on scaling the materiality of listening then, negatively, constructing a discursive singular silence, as an origin-essence separating from the material nature.

The separation that is associated with the material and discourses within and beyond the silences, the uneven exchanges between places predominantly corresponding with Western Imperialism (Said 1994, 12), and the narrative of intellectuals that position themselves transparently (Spivak 2010, 28–29), is rooted in counteracting marginalizations in search for the authentic Turkish origin-essence too. Referring to Deniz Kandiyoti, Yael Navaro writes that the Turkishness of this new historicity that “structured itself in the concept of the ‘modern’ was thus often justified as the more ‘authentic’ and discontinuity presented as continuity” (Navaro–Yashin 2002, 11). The modern-national origin-essence situates the singularized cosmopolitan higher goals, such as the “repository of national values implying a higher status for women,” as a link between the West and national Turkishness (Kandiyoti 1993, 379). Modernism discourse and a conceptualism that is contingent on it can lead, according to Spivak, to the disappearance of women’s voices as subaltern in “between tradition and modernization, culturalism and development” (Spivak 2010, 61). Parallel to Spivak’s argument, Kandiyoti suggests that during the transformation of modern Turkish society, women in political life were not simply included to the social imaginary as themselves, but rather were transformed into a genderless alliance (Kandiyoti 1996). With the latest immigration crisis, the individual and groups of women, LGBTQ+, and the working-class men, and altogether the community of the differences, disappears in the masculine monophony, the (un)consciousness of the cosmopolitanism and globalism. When there is no origin-essence of any kind in a singular form, there is no “essential Turkishness to be found” (Navaro–Yashin 2002, 13) under the “Westernizing curtain to pull back and reveal a hidden cultural reservoir” (ibid.) without the reductions into scaled singulars of the discursive and further non-discursive significations. The concept of the East-West dichotomy and binary belonging in Turkiye is, more than the factuality, a matter of history writing and discourse with necessitation of the singularized place-reterritorialization with monophonies. This singularization is largely contingent on refrains—beyond their narrowly defined musical terms— and how they are scaled with origin-essences, and how they are discursively silencing the materiality of listening and imagination.






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Recordings and Notations


Béla Bartók, 2014. “Mavilim–My love stands on the rocks performed by Hatice Deliklioğlu” and  “Mavilim–My darling is following performed by Emine Muktat” in Béla Bartók’s Folk Music Recordings From the Hungarian Ethnographical Museum. Sound recording, Budapest: Hungaroton, 2014.


Fahri Bey (Hâfız). Date unknown. Türkçe Ezan, Disk Record, Shellac Disk Audio Archive, Catalog No. 5488, Turkish National Library, Ankara. Accessed July 2021.

Kani Karaca (Hâfız). 1997. “Adhan” (hicaz) in Revelation: The Art of Quranic Recitation. Recording. Los Angeles: Threshold Productions.


Kaynak, Sadettin (Hâfız). Date unknown. “Türkçe Ezan.” Columbia DT 18857, Shellac Disk Audio.


Saygun, Ahmed Adnan. 2010. “Mavilim” in Türk Ezgileri. Performed by Mesut İktu, İstanbul: Kalan.


———. 1968. “Mavilim” in 10 Türkü: Ses ve Piyano İçin, Op.41. Ankara: Devlet Konservatuvarı Yayınları, No:26. (Ankara) Bilkent Ahmed Adnan Saygun Center for Music Research and Education Music score archive.


Newspapers, Radio, and Web-based Media References


(Abalıoğlu) Yunus Nadi. 1932. “70 Bin Kişinin İştirak Ettiği Dini Merasim.” Cumhuriyet Newspaper, No.2784 Sekizinci Sene, February 4.


Aydin, Havva Kara. 2020. “They cannot silence the adhan, lower our flags,” Anadolu Agency, July 15.


Directorate of Religious Affairs. 2021. Accessed August 1.


Ellis, Leonard. 2020. “It’s Time for IEEE to Retire ‘Master/Slave.” EE Times, June 18.


Erdogan, Recep Tayyip. 2020. “Ulusa Sesleniş.” YouTube–ATV, July 10.


European Commission. 2016. “European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.” Accessed: August 1, 2021.


Gall, Carlota. 2020. “Erdogan Fulfills Cherished Goal, Opening Hagia Sophia to Prayers.” The New York Times, July 24.


Gill, Denise. 2016. “Turkey’s coup and the call to prayer: Sounds of violence meet Islamic devotionals.” The Conversation, August 10.


Gundogan–Ibrisim, Deniz. 2021. “Metropolitika: Sounding Thinking, Radio Talk with Can Bilir.” Acik Radyo, 95.0FM. Istanbul: November 17.


Gurdogan, Cagla. 2021. “Syrian properties in Ankara attacked after youth killed.” Reuters, additional reporting by Ece Toksabay, writing by Daren Butler; editing by Giles Elgood and Kevin Liffey, August 12.


Henderson, Barney and Hannah Strange. 2013. “Egypt coup: July 8 as it happened.” Telegraph, July 08.


Metallica. 2007. “Music: Live Earth.” Metallica Webpage. December 04.


Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. 2021. “Zero Waste.” Accessed August 1.


Obama, Barrack. 2009. “Remarks By President Obama To The Turkish Parliament.” The White House–Speeches & Remarks. April 6.


Özdemir, Duygu. 2021. “15 Temmuz’da TRT ve Türksat’ta Yaşananlar…” TRT Haber July 13.


Öztürk, Fundanur. 2016. “Dikili’de mülteci kampıyla ilgili iki farklı tepki.” BBC News Türkçe, April 4.


Resmi Gazete. 2021. “Genelge. Marka Olarak Türkiye İbaresinin Kullanımı,” (December 4): 1.


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Saul, Jonathan. 2022. “Ukraine says Russia planting mines in Black Sea as shipping perils grow,” Reuters. March 30.


Schuppli, Susan. 2020. “The Most Dangerous Film in the World,” The MIT Press Reader. October 26.


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Staff. 2022a. “Tansu Çiller: 'Koalisyon hükümetleri Türkiye ekonomisine darbelerden daha fazla zarar verdi'.” Cumhuriyet. March 16.


Staff. 2022b. “Yeni Şafak yazarı Orakoğlu: 'Tansu Çiller, Yeniden Refah Partisi ile ittifak yaparak Cumhur İttifakı’na destek verecek'.” Cumhuriyet. March 16, 2022.


Staff. 2021. “Canlı Müzik Yasağı Hakkında Neler Biliniyor?” BBC News Türkçe, June 22.


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[1] The terms singular and singularity in this paper refer to single objects (Bergson 2001), wholes (Bennett 2010), and singularities in their molar and molecular transformational representations (Deleuze and Guattari 1987). I believe these transformations of molar and molecular singulars create higher-order cultural proposals, as redirection of infinitely multiplying material productive forces innate in social life of actants that are nonreductive to the singulars as manifolds and unifications of humanistic knowledge (Bennett 2010; Braidotti 2013; Haraway 2016; Chakrabarty 2021).

[2] This research project was supported by the Second Century Fund (C2F), Chulalongkorn University.

[3] All recordings of public soundscapes were made by Can Bilir.

[4] Tr. Batılı: Western; Tr. Çokluk: abundance or pluralism, multiplicities. Modern texts also use çoğulluk (pluralism) and çeşitlilik (variety) in reference to multiplicity. “İnsan çokluğu,” as appears in the original recording, translates to “­­overpopulation.

[5] The name of the country in other languages such as Turkey [en], Turkei [de], Turquie [fr] has relatively recently switched to Türkiye, the original name in Turkish language, by a memorandum of President Erdogan (Resmi Gazete December 2021). The large-scale responses to this change in international media started approximately in Summer 2022. This is why, in this article, I use Turkiye in the body of the text, and the archival references are left as Turkey.

[6] Zero Waste, Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. Project originated in 2018.

[7] For a news example about the dialectic discourse of the national production and global network of forces in Turkiye, please see Tosun et al. 2022.

[8] In Turkish music terminology, briefly, nazariyât refers to theories, icrâ to performances, makam-s to scales, and usûl-s to rhythms. Generally, makam-s are considered differently than the Western musical scales regarding characteristic stability of pitch and voice leading principles. Similarly, usûl-s differ from the time signatures of modern notations; as appears in the phrasings extending the time signature as in Gaillard and in Javanese Gamelan music, usûl-s expand through long auditory events with complex rhythmic variations.

[9] Signals at 2:36 and 3:08 were deliberately used to maintain the anonymity of the deceased person.

[10] Pierre Schaeffer, 2017, Treatise on Musical Objects: An Essay across Disciplines. (Oakland: University of California Press).

[11] Murray Schafer, 1994, Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and Tuning of the World. (Rochester, VT: Destiny Books), 293.

[12] “Makam arapçasının ayni olduğu halde müessiriyet türkçesinde daha fazladır.” Tr. Can Bilir. Yunus Nadi (Abalıoğlu), 1932, “70 Bin Kişinin İştirak Ettiği Dini Merasim,” 4 February, 1.

[13] TR. Rivayet: story, narration, rumor; relevant to söylem: discourse.

See “Paris var Parisçik Var,” in Attilâ İlhan, 2003, Hangi Batı. (İstanbul: Türkiye İş Bankası Yayınları), 28.

[14] The folk tune Mavilim’s recording appears as “Mavilim or My love stands on the rocks-Hatice Delikli” and “Mavilim or My darling is following- Emine Muktat” in Bartók’s Folk Music Recordings in archives.