baglama's family


    The bağlama, sometimes referred to as saz or a member of saz family, is a Turkish instrument and the fundamental instrument in Turkish folk music. Its name literally translates to "something that is tied up".

    The bağlama is a string instrument consisting of 7 strings divided into groups of 2, 2 and 3. These groups of strings can be tuned to different combinations, each corresponding to a different system.

    The bağlama is believed to be a synthesis of historical musical instruments in Central Asia and pre-Turkish Anatolia. Bağlama is the most commonly used string folk instrument in Turkey. It takes different names according to the regions and according to its size such as Bağlama, Divan Sazı, Bozuk, Çöğür, Kopuz Irızva, Cura, Tambura, etc.

    The cura is the smallest member of the bağlama family with the highest pitched sound. One size larger than the cura is the tambura, which is tuned an octave lower than the cura. The Divan sazı is the largest instrument in the bağlama family, and is tuned one octave lower than the tambura. The bağlama has three main parts called Tekne(the bowl), Göğüs( sounding board) and Sap(neck). The tekne is generally made from mulberry wood, but may also be made of juniper, beech, spruce or walnut. The göğüs is made from spruce and the sap section from beech or juniper. The tuning pegs are known as burgu (literally screw). Frets are tied to the tekne with fishing line, which allows them to be adjusted. The bağlama is usually played with a Tezene, which is similar to a Guitar pick ) and is made from cherry wood bark or plastic. In some regions, it is played with the fingers in a style known as Şelpe or Şerpe. There are three string groups, or courses, on the bağlama, with strings double or tripled. These string groups can be tuned in a variety of ways, known as Düzen. For the Bağlama Düzeni, the most common tuning, the courses are tuned, from top downward, A-G-D . Some other düzens are Kara Düzen (C-G-D), Misket Düzeni (A-D-F), Müstezat (A-D-F), Abdal Düzeni, Rast Düzeni. There are also electric baglamas which can be connected to an amplifier. These can have either single or double pickups.

    Baglama and Its Family

    To be able to get to know the instruments of baglama and its family, first, the KOPUZ known as the ancestor of these instruments is need to be known.

    People  had added a handle to a gourd by stretching thin leathers over it. And by  attaching the chords over the leathers , they had provide the tones sounding clear. They had called instruments IKLIG , which are played with arc and  KOPUZ which are played with finger or plectrum.

    IKLIG is known as the ancestor  of stringed instruments and KOPUZ is known as the ancestor of  the instruments played with plectrum.

    Afterwards, kopuz had been made from the woods by carving them as something like pear, istead of gourd, again stretched leather over it, attached chords and played for long years. Then, wood /chest-sound table) had been substituted for leather, and metal strings  for chords.

    The sound area of the baglama  is 2,5 octave and it can be increased to 3 octave  with the added frets sticked on sound table.

    We can arrange the instruments of baglama family from big to small as below:

    Meydan (Arena) Sazı
    It’s called meydan sazı, reasoning that it’s played in arenas. Because it has 12 strings at some regions it is  called 12 telli (12 strings) saz. Meydan Sazı is the  biggest instrument of the baglama family.  It is tuned to La note. Its tuned 4 more sounds strident  from meydan sazı.

    Form lenght : 49 cm
    Handle lenght: 65 cm
    String lenght: 104 cm
    Form width and depth: 29,5 cm

    Metal strings were first used on a type of kopuz with a long fingerboard known as the kolca kopuz in 15th century Anatolia. This marked the first step in the emergence of the çöğür (cogur), a transitional instrument between the kopuz and the baglama. To take the strain of the metal strings the leather body was replaced by wood, the fingerboard lengthened and frets introduced. Instead of five hair strings there were now twelve metal strings arranged in four groups of three. Today the cogur is smaller than a medium sized baglama.

It is the fundemental instrument of the family taken its name.It has 17-24 frets. İt is one more octave  strident from meydan sazı and 5 octave from Divan sazı. 6-9 strings are attached. Lower strings tuned to (La) note. For tuning changes, middle and upper string tunes are changed.

    Form lenght: 42 cm
    Handle lenght: 55 cm
    String lenght: 88 cm
    Form widht and depth: 25 cm

    It has 15-18 frets. 9 string are attached as 3 in one group. Its size is the same as baglama’s. Two  yellow and a thin steel string is attached to middle, a thick yellow and 2 steel strings are attached to up and down. Yellow strings are tuned one more octave low-pitched from steel strings. Generally, it is known as bozuk and played in South and aegean regions. Bozuk tuning is quite common.

    İt’s tune is:
    Low: (La), middle: (Re), and up: (So)

    Aşık (Poet) Sazı
The baglama Which is played by aşıks (folk poets) is called Aşık Sazı. Its handle is shorter from normal baglama’s. It has 13-15 frets. Lowest fret is not (Re), It is (Do).  It is used with 6-9 strings.

    A folk instrument of the chordophone family of supposedly Turkish or Persian-Arab origin, the tanbura is found mainly in the south east of Bulgaria and in the mountainous Pirin region.

    The tanbura is a piriform lute with a body made of sycamore or pear wood. The soundboard has two or more sound holes. The instrument has a long neck with a straight fingerboard and keys to adjust the string tension. The strings pass over the bridge and are held in place by a piece of beech wood called a "button". The number of frets can vary between 12 and 18, depending on the dimensions and type of tanbura. They are placed all along the keyboard and are made of metal, string, sheep gut or linen thread. The tanbura strings are metal, wrapped with copper thread that makes the tone soft and tender. The strings are plucked with a small cherry bark plectrum to produce the sound.

    Bulgarian tanbura come in different sizes, with different numbers of strings, in different tunings and are played in various positions. Today, the best known tanbura has 8 strings, 18 frets, chromatic tuning and a wide range.

It is the smallest instrument of baglama family. It has 7-16 frets, and 3-6 strings. Generally it has 6 strings. It can be 3 stringed, 2 string for low, 2 for middle and 2 for up or just 2 stringed. It is tuned to baglama or bozuk tune.

    It’s tune;
    Low string: (La)
    Up string: (Re)

    Baglama Curası
    It is tuned to (La) note . It is strident one octave from baglama and 5 octave from tanbura.

     Form lenght: 26,5 cm
    Handle lenght: 35 cm
    String lenght: 56 cm
    Form widht and depth: 15,5 cm

   Bendir - like the frame drum - is a hand drum which is known by many different names. It is found on every continent (except Australia) and is very popular in particular in the music of North Africa, Persia and Turkey. A snare attached to the inside of the drumhead is typical of this instrument.

     The instrument consists of a beech rim (with or without integrated tuning mechanism), which is equipped with a thumbhole and a snare, and a goatskin drumhead.

    Tarabouks have two shapes; one of is Egyptian Tabla,another is Turkish Table, but same playing technique is used. Because of the animal skin this instrument has a more mellow sound and it is not so loud. In Turkish tabla framework and screwed part is at large and it's verge bend is heavy handed. In Egyptian Tabla, which is more expensive, frame has been made round more, so during playing you don't feel much pain.

    The great tarabouk has a single drum head on one end and is open on the other end. The body may be made of beaten, cast, or spun metal (usually of aluminum or copper), ceramic (often with a glued-on head) or wood. Materials for the head include synthetics such as PET film or FiberSkyn, as well as more traditional animal skins, such as goat or fish. In general, goblet drums tend to have much lighter heads than African or Indian drums.

    The violin is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the viola and cello.

    A violin typically consists of a spruce top (the soundboard, also known as the top plate, table, or belly), maple ribs and back, two endblocks, a neck, a bridge, a soundpost, four strings, and various fittings, optionally including a chinrest, which may attach directly over, or to the left of, the tailpiece. A distinctive feature of a violin body is its "hourglass" shape and the arching of its top and back. The hourglass shape comprises two upper bouts, two lower bouts, and two concave C-bouts at the "waist," providing clearance for the bow.

    The "voice" of a violin depends on its shape, the wood it is made from, the graduation (the thickness profile) of both the top and back, and the varnish which coats its outside surface. The varnish and especially the wood continue to improve with age, making the fixed supply of old violins much sought-after.

    All parts of the instrument which are glued together are done so using animal hide glue, a traditional strong water-based adhesive that is reversible, as glued joints can be disassembled if needed. Weaker, diluted glue is usually used to fasten the top to the ribs, and the nut to the fingerboard, since common repairs involve removing these parts.

    The purfling running around the edge of the spruce top provides some protection against cracks originating at the edge. It also allows the top to flex more independently of the rib structure. Painted-on faux purfling on the top is a sign of an inferior instrument. The back and ribs are typically made of maple, most often with a matching striped figure, referred to as "flame," "fiddleback" or "tiger stripe"

    The neck is usually maple with a flamed figure compatible with that of the ribs and back. It carries the fingerboard, typically made of ebony, but often some other wood stained or painted black. Ebony is the preferred material because of its hardness, beauty, and superior resistance to wear.[9] Fingerboards are dressed to a particular transverse curve, and have a small lengthwise "scoop," or concavity, slightly more pronounced on the lower strings, especially when meant for gut or synthetic strings.

    The bridge is a precisely cut piece of maple that forms the lower anchor point of the vibrating length of the strings and transmits the vibration of the strings to the body of the instrument. Its top curve holds the strings at the proper height from the fingerboard in an arc, allowing each to be sounded separately by the bow. The sound post, or "soul post," fits precisely inside the instrument between the back and top, below the treble foot of the bridge, which it helps support. It also transmits vibrations between the top and the back of the instrument.

    The compass of the violin is from the G below the middle C to the highest note of the modern piano. The top notes, however, are often produced by natural or artificial harmonics.

    The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the upper lines played by the violin and the lower lines played by the cello.

    The casual observer may mistake the viola for the violin because of their similarity in size, closeness in pitch range (the viola is a perfect fifth below the violin), and identical playing position. However, the viola's timbre sets it apart: its rich, dark-toned sonority is more full-bodied than the violin's. The viola's mellow voice is frequently used for playing inner harmonies, and it does not enjoy the wide solo repertoire or fame of the violin.

    A person who plays a cello is called a cellist. The cello is used as a solo instrument, in chamber music, and as a member of the string section of an orchestra.

     Violancello is in the same family with violin, viola and contrabass. Even if violin and violancello’s shapes are extremely remind of eachother, their sizes are quite different. Looking from the other side, it has two holes which remind of ’’f’’ letter (hand writing) in the middle of its body. The sound; tuned from the vibrating strigs with the arc’s touch to the strings, turns back from these holes, vibrating the air in the instrument’s body.

    The names of the strings (from bass to strident)

    Do- So -  Re – La

    As it is seen, fivefold tune system is used. It is numbered till 7 positions. After 7, it is recorded as seventh position and its next.

    It is tuned to (Re) note. It is strident one more octave from tanbura and four more from baglama curası.

    Form lenght: 22,5 cm
    Handle lenght: 30 cm
    Form width and depth: 13,5 cm