Having gone through its golden age from the beginning to mid-20th century and becoming part of popular culture, Turkish Tango music initially made ground for itself in Turkey through Turkish lyrics written on foreign tunes, but once Turkish composers started adding local themes, Turkish tango music works started to be produced by several composers. The purpose of this study is to define and introduce the life, works and contributions to polyphonic Turkish music by Emin Cenkmen, one of the composers of Turkish tango music. Despite being a versatile, enlightened composer and academician who contributed greatly to the development of the nation’s cultural and art life through his works during the early years of the Republic era, the number of studies on Emin Cenkmen is almost non-existent. This study aims to overturn this deficiency by making a comprehensive research on Emin Cenkmen’ life, 1911-1993, his articles, books, concerts, folk music compilations, his clarinet production as a luthier, his various compositions such as operetta, Adalı Kız and Yosma operettas, Bayrak anthem and several others on Turkish tango music. A great part of the study is allocated for the detailed analysis of his Encyclopaedia of Music which he prepared with meticulous effort in 1947-1948. This study has been based on general screening model, one of the qualitative research methods. The data collection tool of the study consisted of written and verbal resources and these data have been systematically presented in the study.
Keywords: Emin Cenkmen, Composer, Turkish Tango Music, Music Encyclopaedia, Köroğlu opera, Bayrak anthem, Adalı Kız operetta, Yosma operetta