Ahmet Ozan Baysal is a composer and performer of bağlama (saz), a traditional Anatolian plucked string instrument. He specifically focused on the performing techniques of bağlama without plectrum, known as şelpe.
He completed an ethnomusicology master’s degree at ITU-MIAM (Centre for Advanced Studies in Music), researching traditional şelpe technique and its modernization process. He received his PhD with a thesis from the Department of Music at ITU titled “Systematization for Harmonic Practices in Şelpe Technique”, presenting a way of using harmonic practices of tonal music using şelpe technique. He was former research assistant in the same department between 2014-2019, and now Visiting Scholar at SOAS, researching the system of bağlama education in the UK.
Between 2016-2020, he participated as a bağlama player & composer in the Intercultural Mediterranean Youth Orchestra (MEDINEA) and Académie of Aix-en-Provence Festival. He composed mini opera music and gave solo & orchestra concerts within the festival’s several organizations. He designed and directed an outreach music project entitled “Exchange” supported by the Aix-en-Provence Festival, EU, and promoted in the framework of “2018 European Year of Culture Heritage”. The project is based on a collection of personal stories and collective memories of migrated Greek-Turkish communities.
As a bağlama performer he focuses on to band together harmonic practices of tonal music and traditional harmonic practices of şelpe technique in his creations. His current research interests focus on cross-cultural music creations, music and diaspora, and Alevi music practices and bağlama education in the diaspora.