The History Channel had a show on about the Ottoman Empire last night...there was a re-enactment of the siege of Constantinople including a shot of the mehteran or janissary band. This band revved up the spirits of the troops before battle, you can hear it right here in conjunction with the mosque test.
Mehmet the Conqueror converted the most famous church in Christendom (Hagia Sophia) into a mosque in 1453, which it still is today. As the tempo of the march speeds up it sounds more like a marching band of kazoos and a few drummers. Still, the sound of the massed band struck fear into the hearts of the European Christians - for 300 years until the 18th century the (Sunni) sultan campaigned against the West on an almost annual basis, setting up the band outside the walls to play for hours on end in the first psy-ops operation (instead of Guns 'N Roses). The sound influenced the music of the Hapsburg court and their musicians...including eventually, Beethoven.
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