Erkan Oğur

Erkan Oğur
Erkan Oğur holding a kopuz lute in April 2007, giving a workshop in Rotterdam
Erkan Oğur holding a kopuz lute in April 2007, giving a workshop in Rotterdam
Background information
Born (1954-04-17) 17 April 1954 (age 70)
Ankara, Turkey
GenresTurkish folk, blues
Occupation(s)composer, score composer, musician
Instrument(s)Fretless guitar, kopuz, bağlama, oud, cümbüş, yaylı tambur, Turkish tambur, violin, kemenche, erhu, bouzouki, bendir, tubular bell, Oğur sazı
Years active1982–present
LabelsFeuer und Eis, Kalan

Erkan Oğur (pronounced [æɾˈkan oˈuɾ]) (born 17 April 1954) is a Turkish musician. A pioneer of fretless guitars, he invented the first fretless classical guitar in 1976.[1][2] A composer, he has influenced many musicians with his compositions combining the sounds of Turkish folk music and classical music with the ancient traditional music. He has played many concerts all over the world. He is regarded as a master of the kopuz and bağlama lutes.


Erkan Oğur was born on 17 April 1954, in Ankara, Turkey. He spent his childhood in Elazığ, eastern Turkey,[1] where he became interested in violin and the Turkish bağlama lute, and started to practice them frequently. He graduated from high school in Elazığ, then moved to study physics at the Ankara University Faculty of Science from 1970 to 1973.[1] As a result of encouragement to be a scientist by his father, he started to study physics engineering and in 1974 continued his education in The Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany, for three years. He was introduced to guitar education in 1973. Instead of being a scientist, he chose to be a musician. Since he needed detailed sounds from a guitar in order to obtain Turkish melodies, he modified his guitar and invented the fretless classical guitar in 1976.[1][2]

In 1980, he returned to Turkey, and started to study at the State Conservatory of Istanbul Technical University.[1] After his military service, he worked as an oud lute teacher. He had live performances with Fikret Kızılok and Bülent Ortaçgil where he contributed to scene with fretless guitar. He released his first album in Germany called Arayışlar ("Searches"). In 1989, he went to the U.S. to work with numerous local blues artists, foremost of which was Robert 'One Man' Johnson. He introduced fretless guitar into blues.[1] A year later, he released his first album in Turkey, Bir Ömürlük Misafir ("A Lifetime Guest"), which was ranked 4th in European lists. He still performs concerts through the world and in Turkey. He works with Kemal Eroglu on technical improvements on bağlama lute; and continues his performances with Fahir Atakoglu and Bülent Ortaçgil. In 2004, he played on Yansımalar's album Pervane ("Moth"). He is a member of the Telvin trio, which mainly performs Turkish folk music in improvised jazz style, with İlkin Deniz and Turgut Alp Bekoglu,[1] and has released an album called Telvin in 2006.

His soundtrack for the 2004 movie Yazı Tura by Uğur Yücel won two awards: the 2004 Golden Orange for Best Music at the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, and the 2005 award for Best Music at the Ankara International Film Festival.


Chronologically, subsections by the date of their first item:

Early works and collaborations
  • 1982 - Istanbul'da Bir Amerikalı
  • 1983 - Perdesiz Gitarda Arayışlar - small-distribution cassette
Soundtrack albums and collaborations (by film date)
Solo and collaboration albums
Featured on albums
  • 1989 - Mideast/Midwest - recording of live performance with Robert 'One-Man' Johnson
  • 1995 - The Other Side of Turkey - compilation, includes Oğur (Feuer und Eis)
  • 2004 - Pervane ("Moth") by Yansımalar - studio album, Oğur on four tracks (Kalan)
  • 2009 - Kıyıların Ardı by Fatih Yaşar - Oğur plays on "Sirlarumi Söyledum"
  • 2011 - Bahçeye Hanımeli by Ayşenur Kolivar - Oğur plays on the title track, "Bahçeye Hanımeli"
  • 2013 - Sabah Rüzgarı by Hüseyin and Ali Rıza Albayrak - Oğur plays on "Böyle Buyurdu Aşık"
  • 2017 - Encounters by Katre - Oğur plays on the title track, "Existence I. Underwater World"[3]


Sources consulted
  • Martinelli, Francesco (October 2001). ""Erkan Oğur" (minibio and interview)". Archived from the original on 2007-01-06.
  • Unfretted (December 2005). "History of the Fretless Guitar". Archived from the original on 2005-12-31.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Martinelli, op. cit.
  2. ^ a b Unfretted, op. cit.
  3. ^ "Katre - Encounters - Fluttery Records". Retrieved 2017-02-08.

External links[edit]

Official sites
Other sites
Preceded by Golden Orange Award
for Best Music Score

for Yazı Tura
Succeeded by