Dr. Rahmi Oruc Guvenc
Born in 1948 in Tavsanli/Kutahya, Dr. Guvenc completed his degree at Istanbul University, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Literature. He obtained his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine researching the ancient oriental music therapy tradition, supervisor Prof. Dr. Ayhan Songar. Following this he founded the ‘Centre for Research and Application of Turkish Music’ at Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine. After the retirement of Prof. Dr. Ayhan Songar he became lecturer at the ‘Unit for Research and Promotion of Turkish Music’ at the Turkic Research Institute, Marmara University. He has retired from this post.
Dr. Guvenc has contributed to the organisation of three music therapy and ethnomusicology symposia and two ethnomusicology music festivals, arranged by joint venture with Istanbul University, the Rosenau School for Traditional Oriental Music Therapy in Austria and the University of Vienna, taking an active role in the theory and therapeutic application of Traditional Oriental Music. He was awarded a honorary professorship by the Uzbek Science Delegation of Fergana University in 1992. In the same year, he received an honorary award from Academia de las Naciones in Argentine. In 1996 he won the ‘Extraordinary Achievement Award’ in the field of music research from Motif Folklore Education Association. In 2004 he received the Outstanding Service Award for the Turkic World, from TURKSAV. He represented Turkey at the 16th World Association for Dynamic Psychiatry (WADP) Congress in Munich 2011. Boston Massachusetts University, USA honoured him with a Certificate of Gratitude and Accomplishment.
A music therapy pilot project with Turkish music has been accomplished in collaboration with Musikhochschule Munich, Marmara University and the Rosenau Music Therapy School, Austria. Dr. Guvenc has established music therapy schools in Berlin, Mannheim, Zurich, Madrid and Barcelona; these schools are continuing their education today with his guidance.
He prepared a 13 parts series of program titled “Hidden Side of Our Music” for Samanyolu TV which was broadcast many times. Appearances in multiple national and international media channels, in live or recorded programs. His work is documented in national and international press coverages, many articles were published relating to his efforts to make traditional music therapy known and practised again.
His musical career begun by taking violin lessons from Fethi Bey in middle school. During his university years, he learned ud, rebab, ney and tanbur. In 1975, he founded TUMATA (Group for the Research and Promotion of Turkish Music) and began researching the origins and the healing qualities of Traditional Central Asian music. At the same time, he started training students by founding Traditional Music Therapy schools in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain and Belgium.
TUMATA under the leadership of Dr. Rahmi Oruc Guvenc received the 3rd price at the ‘Friendship Song Festival’ in Neftekamsk, Bashkurtistan (Russia) in 1998.
He is author of two books, one on music therapy and a monograph “The Beloved of Allah – Hazret Mevlana”, available in English and Turkish. His discography covers works in classical Turkish music and Sufi music with own lyrics and compositions. He has created a tonality (makam) called Tarz-i Vefa and composed a saz semai and a pesrev (prelude) in this tonality.
Oruc is father to two daughters, Suyumbike and Kanikey. He is married to Azize Andrea Guvenc, ergo-therapist, music-therapist, author and photographer, his main co-worker and wayfarer. Mrs. Guvenc writes and publishes on Tumatas work. Her major publication covering the essence of Oruc’ work, entitled ‘Hey Reisender!’ (Ey Yolcu!), ‘Hey Traveller’, is currently available in German language. A Turkish translation is planned.