The Mevlevi mystical order, known in the West as the “Whirling Dervishes” was founded in the Konya in the 13th century by the poet and saint, Celaleddin Rumi Almost from its inception, the brotherhood used music as in integral part of its ritual Indeed Rumi’s soon Sultan Veled (1226 - 1312) is considered to be the firs known composer of Turkish music Instrumental pieces from the Mevlevi Ritual were incorporated into the repertory of secular musicians at the Ottoman Court.
Mevlevi dancing begins with dervishes making obeisance to their leader and receiving blessings from him. Their arms remain closed and pressed against their chest with their inclined hands grasping theirs shoulders. Their bare feet remain close together as they torn very slowly. The whirling it self symbolizes the celestial motions as the earth turn on its exist as it revolves around the sun The Dervishes therefore pivot on their feet as they revolve which is considered the hall of celestial sound. The training of the Mevlevi is very arduous and painstaking, often referred to as”1001 days of penitence”. The preparatory exercise for whirling
consists mainly of adjusting the opining of the two toes around a nail on the ground and spinning around this pivot. These Nails can still be seen in Konya