Eric Ederer


Eric Ederer graduated with a BA in Music Composition from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 1996. He went on to study for an MA in Ethnomusicolgy at UCSB, with a thesis on the role of the cümbüş in modern Turkey, followed by a Ph.D. on 'The Theory and Praxis of Makam in Classical Turkish Music 1910-2010', which he received in 2011. This involved spending several months in Istanbul, during which time he interviewed and recorded some of the leading performers of Classical Turkish Music. Eric has performed Middle Eastern and Greek music with various ensembles in California and is a keen composer; in addition to the oud, he plays the lavta, tanbur, cümbüş and guitar. He is also a keen designer and builder of musical instruments, and has developed the Nautilauta, an experimental new microtonally-fretted instrument designed to be suitable for all kinds of Near and Middle Eastern music. Eric currently works at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his latest musical project is the Makam Liberation Front.

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Selected Recordings


Eric describes this recording as "Near East/Far West fusion — a Californian's take on Middle Eastern maqām music", and it features him on Nautilauta, oud, cümbüş and various other stringed instruments, with accompaniment by Daniel Cossu. The album is available from CD Baby.

1. Pesendide Taksim 1:50
2. Jurjuna 3:35
3. Gülizar Mandıra 2:50
4. Hüseyni Peşrev 4:14
5. Geçiş (Passage) 6:16
6. Muwāshshaḥ Without Words #1: Bayyāti Nāwa 3:21




Makam and Beyond: a Progressive Approach to Near Eastern Music Theory

This encyclopaedic work has its roots in Eric's doctoral dissertation on the Turkish makam, and is without doubt the most comprehensive text on the subject available in English. Although it is mainly focused on the Turkish tradition, there are also extensive notes and appendices outlining the Mashriqi (Eastern Arabic) maqam. With his academic background, knowledge of the Turkish language, and many years' experience in performing the repertoire of several Near Eastern musical traditions on a variety of instruments, Eric was perfectly placed to distill the essence of the Turkish makam and communicate this to an English-speaking audience. This volume is an essential and practical reference whether you are a musicologist or self-studying oud player, and belongs on the shelves of anyone with an interest in the musical traditions of the Near East.

The book can be purchased as a paperback or PDF file from


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