On-campus concerts features unusual international music

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Students with midterms this week who are in need of divine assistance would be wise to remember the promise that the song of righteousness is answered with blessings.

This week  students will have the opportunity to attend free on-campus concerts featuring two unique artists. Matthew Coley, a renowned percussionist, will perform Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Madsen Recital Hall, and Latif Bolat, a prominent Turkish musician, will perform Thursday at 7:30 in the Madsen Recital Hall, according to a news release from the BYU School of Music.

Coley comes to BYU by invitation from the School of Music and Neil Thornock, a professor of music composition. Some time ago, Coley sent out a call for submissions for new music projects featuring the dulcimer — a trapezoidal string instrument struck with hammers. Thornock responded, and the two have been collaborating and writing music since.

Thornock said Coley’s talents are off the beaten path.

“It is an opportunity to see an unusual instrument, at least unusual in a concert hall,” Thornock said. “The dulcimer itself is a common folk instrument but it is uncommon to see a virtuoso classical musician take the dulcimer up.”

The next day the marimbas and drums will be cleared away to make room for Bolat and his baglama, a long-necked lute instrument. Bolat will perform alone on stage, taking time to explain the poetry and using projected pictures to tell the story of Turkish culture and music.

Jeremy Grimshaw, an assistant professor in the School of Music, said Bolat’s music isn’t something students are used to.

“The scales that are used in Turkish music, they don’t follow the Western scale,” Grimshaw said. “He’ll be using notes that in our pianos only exist in the cracks between the keys.”

Specializing in the division of musicology and ethnomusicology, one of Grimshaw’s jobs is to bring non-traditional Western music to the School of Music.

“Music speaks to people,” Grimshaw said. “Learning to appreciate music from other cultures is kind of a microcosm for the kind of cross-cultural understanding that we’re always saying we’re trying to undertake anyway.”

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