Between the sixteenth century and the eighteenth century many Europeans visited Constantinople, the new Ottoman capital, and wrote reports that took various aspects of its cultural and musical life into consideration. Among the recurring elements of such reports, we note the description of Dervishes and their ceremonies, often accompanied by engravings and very rarely by musical transcriptions. Through time, such a description became a topic (and a stereotype) both in literature and in fine arts. My article retraces and comments descriptions of Dervish ceremonies, in a chronological order, by Western travellers and scholars between sixteenth and eighteenth century, between the so-called Age of Exploration and Modernity.
Dervishes. Dervish Ceremonies. Mevlevî Dervishes. Mevlevî Ceremonies. Sufi Music. History of Sufism. Ottoman Classical Music. Ottoman History. Western Travels History.