Münir Beken's career spans theory, composition, ethnomusicology, and performance. As a composer, he has written a state-commissioned ballet suite for orchestra, won awards for film music, and scored television documentaries both domestically and internationally. His scholarly work focuses on modal theory; he is also conducting research on musical globalization and the phenomenology of music. He has published in Ethnomusicology, a premier journal in the field, and contributed to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He was one of the founding members of the State Turkish Music Ensemble.