Ottoman Empire (1829-1839, 1918-1922)


Like some European monarchies of the time (see, for example, the Austro-Hungarian Empire), the Ottoman Empire had a different anthem for each ruler. The first ruler that appeared to have a personal march was Mahmut II “Adlî”, who reigned from 1808-1839. The sultan initiated western-style reforms in his country, which included the military and imperial bands; the process of reforming the bands went to Italian-born composer Giuseppe Donizetti. Donizetti is largely credited for introducing Western-style music to the empire, yet was also influenced by existing Turkish music in his composition of the imperial march, as well as other musical works he created for the sultan.

Interestingly, the last sultan, Mehmed VI Vahideddin, who reigned until the transformation of what was left of the Ottoman Empire into Turkey in 1922, did not choose to have a march composed for him, but rather chose to use the “Mahmudiye”. During this time, however, the march was published as “Marche Nationale Ottomane”; perhaps making the first personal sultanate anthem of the Ottoman Empire the last and a national one.  

Special thanks to: Emre Yigit for some of this information and Emre Aracı for some additional information and the music file and sheet music.