SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Dr Ahmet Ozan Baysal

  • Research
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Ahmet Ozan Baysal
Department of Music

Visiting Scholar

Dr Ahmet Ozan Baysal
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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.


My current research project at SOAS, supported by British Alevi Federation, involves bağlama (saz) education in the UK in terms of the maintenance of belief-related/sociocultural identity, the process of social integration, and cross-cultural interaction.