Dellalzade I

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Ottoman Turkish singer and composer.

Dellalzade İsmail, the son of a palace official, was born in the Fath district of Istanbul. Upon finishing primary school, his musical talents were noticed, and he became a student of the great Dede Zekai Efendi. At the age of nineteen, he joined the palace orchestra as a singer; later, he became the companion and chief prayer caller of Sultan Mahmud II. In 1846, Sultan Abdülmecit appointed him singing instructor in the newly established Academy of Music. Dellalzade is considered one of the musical geniuses of a period in which the flowering of Turkish classical music was met by the increasing popularity of Western music. He composed more than seventy pieces, including solemn folk tunes (semai) and ballads (şarki). Among his most well-known compositions are Yegah Ağir Semai, Suznak Beste, and Şehnaz Şarki.

See also Abdülmecit I; Dede Zekai; Mahmud II.

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