Serif Muhiddin Targan (also known as Sherif Muhiddin Haydar in the Arab world) was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1892 into a well-off family. He began to learn the oud at the age of six, and subsequently took private music lessons in Istanbul – he made his first concert appearance when he was only 13 years old. In 1924 Targan moved to New York, where his music was also well received. In 1932 he returned to Istanbul, where he joined the Istanbul City Orchestra and later married his wife Safiye Ayla. Perhaps Targan’s greatest achievement, however, was the founding of the Baghdad Conservatory in 1936-37, which produced such famous oud players as Munir and Jamil Bashir, Salman Shukur and Ghanim Haddad. Serif Muhiddin Targan died in 1967, although his legacy is preserved to this day by the many graduates of the Baghdad Conservatory and their students. He also produced an oud method.