Turquerie was the Orientalist fashion that arose during 16th to 18th century in Western Europe. It is a ‘French term used to describe artifacts made in Turkey, or in France by Turkish craftsmen, and by derivation the influence on French design of elements from the Byzantine Empire, the Saljuq Islamic period and the Ottoman Empire.’ 1 In music, the influence of Turkish culture in European society also spurred composers like Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven to write music with the used of Alla Turca style in 18th century. Alla Turca was being referred to the ‘Turkish music’, however it is not purely music of Turkey but rather as a musical style. The authenticity of the westernized ‘Turkish music’ is one of the exoticism issues which has been highly debated among musicologist and composers for years. Before going deeper into the issues, I would like to touch on a bit of the historical and cultural background of turquerie and followed by the music analysis of some evocation of Turkish style in Mozart’s composition.
According to Rabah Saoud, the Turkish style is represented by the term Turquesque in 1578, first used by Henri Espienne to refer to the elements of ‘Turkishness’ in the clothing of courtiers. It was later replaced by the term Turquerie in 1666 by Moliere in his book L’Avare.2 The Turkish fashion came in through political-military battle between Western European and Ottoman Empire. The trend was towards Turkish food, Turkish robe and Turkish music. The Turkish theme was used by composer in opera and instrumental music where the Alla Turca style began. New discoveries show that the influence of Turkish music was on the musical revival of Europe and it has been detected in 8th century which was exactly in the period of the Carolingian Empire.3 In 18th century, the evidence indicates that Ottoman Empire ruled over European continents and extended their influence on European music more than ever.
From historical background, the rise and dominion of the Turkish