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Biography

Okan Murat Öztürk (b. 1967) is a Turkish player, specialising in traditional Anatolian music.

Öztürk was born in Ankara. He learnt traditional music and methods of baglama playing by listening to master musicians such as Muharrem Ertaş, Ramazan Güngör, Neşet Ertaş, Feyzullah Çınar, Mehmet Erenler, Musa Eroğlu, Talip Özkan, and Arif Sağ.

He had the chance to work with teachers like Coskun Güla and Metin Aktan. He worked as a baglama player with the Ministry of Culture, Ankara State Folk Music Chorus and Turkish Radio & Television (TRT) Folk Music Chorus. Since 1984 he has worked as a baglama teacher at various levels, both in Turkey and throughout the world.

In 1988, he formed the Bengi Bağlama Üçlüsü (the Bengi Bağlama Trio), which is the first in Turkey to promote Anatolian Music and baglama-like instruments. With this group he has given many concerts at several events, such as the International Ankara Music Festival and the International Houston Festival.

After 1990 he conducted research with Ertuğrul Bayraktar, a composer and educator, on possibilities of harmonic playing of baglama-like instruments (i.e., the cura, baglama, tanbura, and divan). As a result of this research, which is based on Kemal Ilerici System (also called Quartet Harmony System), and which is a specific polyphony method for Turkish Music, and especially Anatolian compositions, he made some important contributions and developed a specific repertoire.

Besides the concerts, festivals and symposiums in which he has participated, Öztürk has also given concerts in Austria, Cuba, Germany, Switzerland, Tajikistan and USA. He participated into various recordings, TV & radio programmes, and concerts with the artists like Erkan Oğur, Hasan Yükselir, and Tolga Çandar.

To solve the transposed tuning and position problems on traditional instruments he is still continuing his researches on designing and playing of the newly instruments like "dört telli baglama" (four-coursed baglama), "perdesiz bağlama" (fretless baglama) and "bas bağlama" (bass baglama).

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