An Unexpected Beginning

A warm welcome to HELLO STAGE and thank you so much for this post Merve Gunes - what an interesting journey and perspective! We look forward to more :)

This is the very beginning of my musical journey on HELLO STAGE, so I would like to start by blogging an introduction and note of thanks. I don’t need to list the many benefits and advantages of HELLO STAGE, but I want to express my appreciation for the opportunity to write about music on such an outstanding platform.

As a non-musician who can only express her musical enthusiasm through words, although I’ve been struggling to articulate what I feel, I’m still full of eagerness to keep writing. I know very well that words are not enough to make one feel alive in the way music does. Therefore, my intention is not to cover music with flashy words; exaggeration is unnecessary, because the simplest words are the strongest when you are emotionally connected.

HELLO STAGE opens a door to a world that is filtered by classical music lovers. As a person who believes in the power of words to influence the mind and the soul, I willingly stepped through it. Thank you to all of those who have suggested blogs and platforms to host my writing, and now I’ve found my prince charming called HELLO STAGE.


I’ve been writing for years, but my decision to focus on music was the result of the conversation below, which happened during my interview for an MA in Music Business and Management. The context of the conversation was my failure on the entrance exam for the MIAM (Advanced Studies in Music). I was awarded a 0.01 for writing my name correctly. Jury member: "You neither study music nor play an instrument, but this is a musical institution. While the department is named music 'business and management', we aim to educate managers with musical knowledge to ease collaboration with musicians. As you can imagine, music theory courses can be very challenging and suffering for a non-musician student. I think this program is not suitable for you."

Me: "You’re right. I’m actually interested in literature."

*All eyes turn to me with awkward looks.*


"I actually need musical knowledge because I want to be able to write about music as a career. "


Then I explained my deep commitment to music to the jury.
Approximately about six years ago I was a young student at university, studying Eastern Languages and Literatures. It was the perfect choice for me: new languages could expose me to a greater body of literature. During the final year of my degree, Turkey was experiencing political strife. There were many different political groups fighting each other, even at universities, and I felt there was something wrong in our language, limiting our communication despite our common tongue. With some research, I found millions of examples throughout history of people becoming enemies despite common geography, divided by their differing languages. The unifying characteristics of language became a prominent theme for me, and conversely, the dividing characteristics did so as well. I began to feel that writing could do nothing but limit one’s language and perception, and that my world was started to shrink.

I decided to change my path and start a new journey, with no limits, borders, or leaders, and it had to be something the superseded all languages: music. There are few things that we can hold onto forever, but music may be an exception. I feel as though my appreciation of music came as sudden enlightenment, but I was heartbroken: It was impossible to turn back in time and prepare for the conservatory. So I decided that though I could not be a musician, then I would be a part of the connection between people and music. I decided to study this new discipline in the arts and that same year left university, moved to Istanbul, and began studying Cultural Management. This was what I could do that time. I had a broad idea about the kinds of arts I wanted to explore, as well as art history, and the cultural policies of states. After graduation it was still obvious that music was the indispensable art, and I wanted specialize and do a master’s in music.

In the end, my hair went grey over seven months, while studying the figured bass, the four-voice texture, non-chord tones and sonata form analyses. I had to quit my job in order to complete the coursework. But I’ve discovered so much fascinating music, met incredible musicians, made great friends, and worked under amazing professors.


This is the story of my arrival. It’s crystal clear that being engaged in this network is so exciting. I can’t wait for the upcoming blog!

Follow Merve Gunes on HELLO STAGE!
Author: Merve Gunes / edited by Nina HELLO STAGE
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