Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Fresco Romano, Isaac (Tamburi Izak)
(276 words)

Isaac Fresco (İsak Fresko) Romano was born in the Ortaköy district of Istanbul in 1745. Known to Ottomans as Tamburi İsak Efendi because of his mastery of the tambur, a bowed or plucked long-necked lute used in Ottoman court music, he was perhaps Turkey’s most famous composer of both Jewish synagogue songs and classical Turkish music. He also played the keman, a traditional Turkish violin. He became a teacher of the tambur in 1795, and the sultan at the time, Selim III, was his star pupil. He also taught Kuyumcu Oskiyam, Zeki Mehmet Ağa, and Tamburi Mehmet Ağa, and he coll…

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Pamela Dorn Sezgin, “Fresco Romano, Isaac (Tamburi Izak)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 06 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0008010>
First published online: 2010

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