Mus2okur in the Press
BT Haber, November 19-25, 2007
Click to see a scan of the interview (in Turkish): Page 1, Page 2
Data-Soft's Gift to Turkish Music: Mus2okur
By Selin Kalman
Software house Data-Soft has released a multimedia encyclopedia of Turkish music, named Mus2okur, developed by senior engineer of mathematics M. Kemal Karaosmanoğlu. The product has been available from retail stores Carrefour, D&R and Megavizyon for two months now. Mus2okur aims to teach structural elements of Turkish music such as maqam, form and usul, fundamentals such as pitch and diapason, and provide information on notable people such as composer and lyricsts, with audio and visual tools.
After working on the initial stage of the project for a long time, Data-Soft's R&D manager M. Kemal Karaosmanoğlu, senior engineer of mathematics, set up an R&D team 3 years ago to bring the software to life. With a boost of speed from Karaosmanoğlu, the product finally went on sale. In addition to his job at Data-Soft, Karaosmanoğlu is a part-time lecturer at Yıldız Technical University, Faculty of Art and Design. Süleyman Metin Yılmaz, one of Data-Soft's senior engineers of mathematics, worked with Karaosmanoğlu in the eighties as a research assistant in college. Later moving into the private sector, the two friends met again under the roof of Data-Soft. Not wanting to leave academia, Karaosmanoğlu teaches the physics of music, music arithmetic and technology as part-time instructor.
Süleyman Metin Yılmaz described Data-Soft as a collective company of three partners established in 1986 and primarily working in software development. In addition to producing commercial software for the creative industries, the company has a number of industrial software offerings. The release of Mus2okur was an opportunity to connect with new distribution channels, according to Yılmaz. The company is working with distributor Final. Yılmaz continued:
"We are working with bookstores and music shops for the distribution of Mus2okur. The product was designed to be easy to use and understand even for people who are not very familiar with technology. So far we have received positive feedback. For the initial phase, 5 thousand copies of Mus2okur were produced. Our target for the second phase of distribution is 10 thousand copies. Mus2okur was also presented to, and accepted by, KOSGEB as an R&D project."
A multifaceted project
M. Kemal Karaosmanoğlu said Mus2okur's database boasts nearly one thousand musical works that can be displayed as sheet music on screen and played in instrumental form. The tempo and diapason of performances of these works can be changed by the user. In addition, the software provides information on prominent composers and lyricsts. On the development of Mus2okur, Karaosmanoğlu said:
"The conception of Mus2okur as a necessity goes back many years. Even though Turkish music, the project's starting point, may have lost its popularity somewhat, it is still our music. Due to a lack of tools, people have had to write sheet music by hand just like in the times preceding the invention of the printing press. Over time, for this purpose some people began to use software developed for the transcription of Western music. However, the nature of our music, intervals, usuls, the wealth of maqams, the very issue of the various sharp and flat symbols that these Western music-oriented products lack, made these products very inefficient and difficult to use. The software we have called Mus2okur was a hobby project that I started many years ago. It allows one to write sheet music on the computer as well as play this music. It has proved extremely helpful in reviewing one's work and checking for any mistakes in the transcription. The program also features multimedia and visual aspects. As an expansive project, it took a long time to reach the stage of general usability, and for a long time the program was used by a small group of people. Around three years ago Data-Soft made the decision to rewrite the software with a professional team."