Turkey bans Chopin at military funerals

Turkey bans Chopin at military funerals


norman lebrecht

September 13, 2017

The increasingly Islamist and authoritarian regime has ordered the replacement of Chopin’s funeral march with one by an Ottoman composer which has lyrics from the Qur’an.

More here.



  • Robert Holmén says:

    I’m surprised they were using it.

    I don’t think the Chopin is ever used here, it’s just too much of a cartoon cliché. Like using the procession from Lohengrin at a wedding.

    I’ve only heard it at Soviet funerals on TV.

  • Clarrieu says:

    Actually we use it at every important military funeral in France…

    • Robert Holmén says:

      “every important…” that’s probably a fairly sparing use. How many a year would that be?

      • CJ says:

        Too many times unfortunately, every time soldiers are killed at wars or policemen in terrorists attacks. Also at State funerals (for President Mitterrand for instance, or more recently for Simone Veil).

  • Erdo-san says:

    Right. Chopin was a foreigner, a non-believer. Allah’s martyrs deserve something better…

  • Deniz Oliveira Erdinç says:

    That is unfortunately true. But there have been other recent developments in the Turkish classical music community too: a young pianist has triumphed in quite a major competition in Scotland. Perhaps is also your responsibility to inform readers that talent and music still prevails and finds ways to survive despite any political struggles.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Very correct. Turkey should not use Western Music in official ceremonies. It’s cultural appropriation.

  • Philippe says:

    They could programm Donizetti’s music ! After all his brother Giuseppe was composer and chief of music at the Sultan’s court. And he probably composed the first national anthem of the Ottoman Empire.

  • John Borstlap says:

    When a government official in the Ural region dies, they play this:


  • Tom says:

    I’ll be interested to hear how this works out. The proposed replacement music, according to the link, is ‘Segah Tekbir,’ a truly mournful piece in the youtube renditions I could find. The link seems to be saying that instruments would not be used, so presumably it would be sung, probably a good idea considering the quarter tones.
    There is more information about the song here, including some interesting contributions from Google translate.