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  • Tips For Buying A Baglama Saz Tips For Buying A Baglama Saz

    0 comments / Posted on by Veysel Sala

    Tips For Purchasing A Good Baglama Saz

    Among all the Turkish folk music instruments, Baglama is one of the most important ones and plays an immense role in the traditional Turkish music and folk stories. It is sometimes referred to as Saz which simply means “instrument” in Persian. Baglama and Saz are used somewhat interchangeably in Turkish. Although it has somewhat of a sorrowful sound to it, Baglama is also used as an entertainment instrument across Anatolia. The ancestor of Baglama is Kopuz which is repeatedly mentioned in old Turkish tales. Having a history of more than 1500 years, Kopuz is played by Turkic Tribes of Middle Asia and brought into Anatolia by minstrels. Over the time, Kopuz evolved into Baglama, which is a fretted instrument with a pear shaped body. The standard sizes of a Baglama is still not decided upon, so the body and the neck can vary according to the expectations of the Baglama player. Material of the body, length of the neck, fineness of the workmanship can be parameters when purchasing a Baglama.

    Basically, Balama has seven strings that are divided into three courses that are played together. A Baglama has three main parts; the bowl (tekne), the sounding board (göğüs) and a neck (sap). Frets are tied to the neck with fishing line, which allows them to be adjusted. The Baglama is usually played with a 2.5 cm long flexible pick which is similar to a guitar pick. In some regions it can be played with fingerprints or fingernails.

    What makes a good quality Baglama?

    No matter which type of Baglama you are planning to play, there are few features to look for before you purchase your instrument. First, you have to make sure that the instrument doesn’t have any fractures or scratches. The neck of the Baglama should definitely be straight and it is also really important that the strings don’t touch the frets but at the same time, they should not be very far away from the frets. Ideally, the gap between the strings and the frets is 3 mm. The wider it gets, the harder it is to play. Material used in the making of a Baglama is also very important. There are different types of tree trunks giving different types of sounds but generally mulberry wood, Juniper, Mahogany or walnut are used in the making.

    Which type should I buy?

    There are different types of Baglamas deriving from various regions of Anatolia but when it comes to choosing the right Baglama for your music taste or playing techniques, the first question that comes to mind is whether it should be a long neck or short neck Baglama. These two types might have important roles on your style. The best advice for a Baglama learner to give is that he or she should know the differences between these two types of Baglamas.

    Long neck Baglama is the traditional type and is played by many well-known Baglama players. It has 23 frets. In 70’s it has shortened into 19 frets which concludes a Short neck Baglama, allowing the performer to play easier, since it eliminates the obligation of making big leaps when playing a tune.

    Depending on the length of the necks, the sizes of the bodies of Baglamas vary. Also, the thickness of the strings change. The length of a body of a short neck Baglama changes from 38 to 43 cm. Long neck Baglama’s body length may vary from 38 to 45 cm. Short neck Baglamas have strings of 0.18 mm, whereas long neck Baglamas have strings of 0.2 mm.

    Whether it’s long neck or short neck, no matter what your style is, we provide you with handmade Baglamas of the fine workmanship. With our wide range of Baglama options, we guarantee that you will find the perfect Baglama or Bağlama related items for your taste and style.

    Tips For Purchasing A Good Baglama Saz

    Among all the Turkish folk music instruments, Baglama is one of the most important ones and plays an immense role in the traditional Turkish music and folk stories. It is sometimes referred to as Saz which simply means “instrument” in Persian. Baglama and Saz are used somewhat interchangeably in Turkish. Although it has somewhat of a sorrowful sound to it, Baglama is also used as an entertainment instrument across Anatolia. The ancestor of Baglama is Kopuz which is repeatedly mentioned in old Turkish tales. Having a history of more than 1500 years, Kopuz is played by Turkic Tribes of Middle Asia and brought into Anatolia by minstrels. Over the time, Kopuz evolved into Baglama, which is a fretted instrument with a pear shaped body. The standard sizes of a Baglama is still not decided upon, so the body and the neck can vary according to the expectations of the Baglama player. Material of the body, length of the neck, fineness of the workmanship can be parameters when purchasing a Baglama.

    Basically, Balama has seven strings that are divided into three courses that are played together. A Baglama has three main parts; the bowl (tekne), the sounding board (göğüs) and a neck (sap). Frets are tied to the neck with fishing line, which allows them to be adjusted. The Baglama is usually played with a 2.5 cm long flexible pick which is similar to a guitar pick. In some regions it can be played with fingerprints or fingernails.

    What makes a good quality Baglama?

    No matter which type of Baglama you are planning to play, there are few features to look for before you purchase your instrument. First, you have to make sure that the instrument doesn’t have any fractures or scratches. The neck of the Baglama should definitely be straight and it is also really important that the strings don’t touch the frets but at the same time, they should not be very far away from the frets. Ideally, the gap between the strings and the frets is 3 mm. The wider it gets, the harder it is to play. Material used in the making of a Baglama is also very important. There are different types of tree trunks giving different types of sounds but generally mulberry wood, Juniper, Mahogany or walnut are used in the making.

    Which type should I buy?

    There are different types of Baglamas deriving from various regions of Anatolia but when it comes to choosing the right Baglama for your music taste or playing techniques, the first question that comes to mind is whether it should be a long neck or short neck Baglama. These two types might have important roles on your style. The best advice for a Baglama learner to give is that he or she should know the differences between these two types of Baglamas.

    Long neck Baglama is the traditional type and is played by many well-known Baglama players. It has 23 frets. In 70’s it has shortened into 19 frets which concludes a Short neck Baglama, allowing the performer to play easier, since it eliminates the obligation of making big leaps when playing a tune.

    Depending on the length of the necks, the sizes of the bodies of Baglamas vary. Also, the thickness of the strings change. The length of a body of a short neck Baglama changes from 38 to 43 cm. Long neck Baglama’s body length may vary from 38 to 45 cm. Short neck Baglamas have strings of 0.18 mm, whereas long neck Baglamas have strings of 0.2 mm.

    Whether it’s long neck or short neck, no matter what your style is, we provide you with handmade Baglamas of the fine workmanship. With our wide range of Baglama options, we guarantee that you will find the perfect Baglama or Bağlama related items for your taste and style.

    Read more

  • Tips For Purchasing An Electric Saz Tips For Purchasing An Electric Saz

    0 comments / Posted on by Veysel Sala

    Tips For Purchasing An Electric Saz

    Baglama or in other words Saz, is a traditional Turkish instrument originally played by minstrels and is used to express both joyful and sad emotions by the Turkish folk throughout the history. Although the looks of a classic Saz and an Electric Saz are fairly similar to each other a Baglama and an Electric Saz are two different instruments. Originally, an Electric Baglama is produced by attaching a microphone-like electric device onto the acoustic instrument. Later on, Erkin Koray and Orhan Gencebay, two well-known Turkish singers and instrument players, advanced this instrument and gave it its final shape, giving them the inventor title of the instrument in the 1960s. Although the history of an Electric Saz is fairly new compared to a classic saz, it is loved by many instrument players and listeners in Turkey. Thanks to its energetic sound and versatility, it is widely played at Turkish weddings.

    Which one should I pick? The Classic or the Electric?

    Widely inspired by the traditional Turkish instrument Baglama and the Electric Guitar, Electric Baglama is an instrument which is originated from both of these two classic instruments and the technology lying behind them. Basically, Electric Baglama is the modified version of a Classic Baglama. An Electric Saz has three main parts similar to a Classic Baglama; the bowl, the sounding board and the neck. Size of the body and the length of the neck might be the similarities between the two instruments. However, the number and the material of the strings are different, considering that it transforms physical vibrations into electric signals to generate sounds.

    What makes an Electric Saz different than a Classic Saz is its technical side. There are two sets of pick ups on an Electric Saz, one on the body, one closer to the neck. These magnetics turn the acoustic sound of a Baglama into somewhat of an electronic sound. You can switch between these magnetics with the switches located on the lower part of the body. There are also pots, similar to an Electric Guitar that you can adjust the tone with and turn the power up and down. Given that, it is also available with a footswitch, an electric saz can generate a lot of different tones when played with different playing techniques.

    What determines the quality of an Electric Saz?

    Material used in the making of an Slectric Saz vary as it does in a Classic Baglama and plays a crucial role for the quality. Different types of tree trunks give the instrument various sounds and quality levels. Maple, Walnut and Juniper are commonly used in the making of an Electric Saz.

    Electric saz is usually played with a flexible pick also called as “mızrap” similar to a Guitar pick. Depending on the players taste or playing technique, it can also played with fingerprints or fingernails.

    Even if you have recently chosen to learn to play this instrument or are a determined player who wants to master the craft of playing an electronic saz, you can find the right Electric Saz in our wide range for your taste and technique. We provide you with handmade Electric Baglamas of fine workmanship and all that you need for you to enhance your technique and get the unique experience of playing an instrument.

    Tips For Purchasing An Electric Saz

    Baglama or in other words Saz, is a traditional Turkish instrument originally played by minstrels and is used to express both joyful and sad emotions by the Turkish folk throughout the history. Although the looks of a classic Saz and an Electric Saz are fairly similar to each other a Baglama and an Electric Saz are two different instruments. Originally, an Electric Baglama is produced by attaching a microphone-like electric device onto the acoustic instrument. Later on, Erkin Koray and Orhan Gencebay, two well-known Turkish singers and instrument players, advanced this instrument and gave it its final shape, giving them the inventor title of the instrument in the 1960s. Although the history of an Electric Saz is fairly new compared to a classic saz, it is loved by many instrument players and listeners in Turkey. Thanks to its energetic sound and versatility, it is widely played at Turkish weddings.

    Which one should I pick? The Classic or the Electric?

    Widely inspired by the traditional Turkish instrument Baglama and the Electric Guitar, Electric Baglama is an instrument which is originated from both of these two classic instruments and the technology lying behind them. Basically, Electric Baglama is the modified version of a Classic Baglama. An Electric Saz has three main parts similar to a Classic Baglama; the bowl, the sounding board and the neck. Size of the body and the length of the neck might be the similarities between the two instruments. However, the number and the material of the strings are different, considering that it transforms physical vibrations into electric signals to generate sounds.

    What makes an Electric Saz different than a Classic Saz is its technical side. There are two sets of pick ups on an Electric Saz, one on the body, one closer to the neck. These magnetics turn the acoustic sound of a Baglama into somewhat of an electronic sound. You can switch between these magnetics with the switches located on the lower part of the body. There are also pots, similar to an Electric Guitar that you can adjust the tone with and turn the power up and down. Given that, it is also available with a footswitch, an electric saz can generate a lot of different tones when played with different playing techniques.

    What determines the quality of an Electric Saz?

    Material used in the making of an Slectric Saz vary as it does in a Classic Baglama and plays a crucial role for the quality. Different types of tree trunks give the instrument various sounds and quality levels. Maple, Walnut and Juniper are commonly used in the making of an Electric Saz.

    Electric saz is usually played with a flexible pick also called as “mızrap” similar to a Guitar pick. Depending on the players taste or playing technique, it can also played with fingerprints or fingernails.

    Even if you have recently chosen to learn to play this instrument or are a determined player who wants to master the craft of playing an electronic saz, you can find the right Electric Saz in our wide range for your taste and technique. We provide you with handmade Electric Baglamas of fine workmanship and all that you need for you to enhance your technique and get the unique experience of playing an instrument.

    Read more

  • Tips For Purchasing A Good Baglama Saz Tips For Purchasing A Good Baglama Saz

    0 comments / Posted on by Veysel Sala

    Among all the Turkish folk music instruments, Baglama is one of the most important ones and plays an immense role in the traditional Turkish music and folk stories. It is sometimes referred to as Saz which simply means “instrument” in Persian. Baglama and Saz are used somewhat interchangeably in Turkish. Although it has somewhat of a sorrowful sound to it, Baglama is also used as an entertainment instrument across Anatolia. The ancestor of Baglama is Kopuz which is repeatedly mentioned in old Turkish tales. Having a history of more than 1500 years, Kopuz is played by Turkic Tribes of Middle Asia and brought into Anatolia by minstrels. Over the time, Kopuz evolved into Baglama, which is a fretted instrument with a pear shaped body. The standard sizes of a Baglama is still not decided upon, so the body and the neck can vary according to the expectations of the Baglama player. Material of the body, length of the neck, fineness of the workmanship can be parameters when purchasing a Baglama.

    Basically, Baglama has seven strings that are divided into three courses that are played together. A Baglama has three main parts; the bowl (tekne), the sounding board (göğüs) and a neck (sap). Frets are tied to the neck with fishing line, which allows them to be adjusted. The Baglama is usually played with a 2.5 cm long flexible pick which is similar to a guitar pick. In some regions it can be played with fingerprints or fingernails.

    What Makes A Good Quality Baglama?

    No matter which type of Baglama you are planning to play, there are few features to look for before you purchase your instrument. First, you have to make sure that the instrument doesn’t have any fractures or scratches. The neck of the Baglama should definitely be straight and it is also really important that the strings don’t touch the frets but at the same time, they should not be very far away from the frets. Ideally, the gap between the strings and the frets is 3 mm. The wider it gets, the harder it is to play. Material used in the making of a Baglama is also very important. There are different types of tree trunks giving different types of sounds but generally mulberry wood, juniper, beech, spruce or walnut are used in the making.

    Which Type Saz Should I buy?

    There are different types of Baglamas deriving from various regions of Anatolia but when it comes to choosing the right Baglama for your music taste or playing techniques, the first question that comes to mind is whether it should be a long neck on short neck Baglama. These two types might have important roles on your style. The best advice for a Baglama learner to give is that he or she should know the differences between these two types of Baglamas.

    Long neck Baglama is the traditional type and is played by many well-known Baglama players. It has 23 frets. In 70’s it has shortened into 19 frets which concludes a short neck Baglama, allowing the performer to play easier, since it eliminates the obligation of making big leaps when playing a tune.

    Depending on the length of the necks, the sizes of the bodies of Baglamas vary. Also, the thickness of the strings change. The length of a body of a short neck Baglama changes from 38 to 42 cm. Long neck baglama’s body length may vary from 41 to 45 cm. Short neck Baglamas have strings of 0.18 mm, whereas long neck Baglamas have strings of 0.2 mm.

    Whether it’s long neck or short neck, no matter what your style is, we provide you with handmade Baglamas of the fine workmanship. With our wide range of Baglama options, we guarantee that you will find the perfect Baglama or Baglama related items for your taste and style.

    Among all the Turkish folk music instruments, Baglama is one of the most important ones and plays an immense role in the traditional Turkish music and folk stories. It is sometimes referred to as Saz which simply means “instrument” in Persian. Baglama and Saz are used somewhat interchangeably in Turkish. Although it has somewhat of a sorrowful sound to it, Baglama is also used as an entertainment instrument across Anatolia. The ancestor of Baglama is Kopuz which is repeatedly mentioned in old Turkish tales. Having a history of more than 1500 years, Kopuz is played by Turkic Tribes of Middle Asia and brought into Anatolia by minstrels. Over the time, Kopuz evolved into Baglama, which is a fretted instrument with a pear shaped body. The standard sizes of a Baglama is still not decided upon, so the body and the neck can vary according to the expectations of the Baglama player. Material of the body, length of the neck, fineness of the workmanship can be parameters when purchasing a Baglama.

    Basically, Baglama has seven strings that are divided into three courses that are played together. A Baglama has three main parts; the bowl (tekne), the sounding board (göğüs) and a neck (sap). Frets are tied to the neck with fishing line, which allows them to be adjusted. The Baglama is usually played with a 2.5 cm long flexible pick which is similar to a guitar pick. In some regions it can be played with fingerprints or fingernails.

    What Makes A Good Quality Baglama?

    No matter which type of Baglama you are planning to play, there are few features to look for before you purchase your instrument. First, you have to make sure that the instrument doesn’t have any fractures or scratches. The neck of the Baglama should definitely be straight and it is also really important that the strings don’t touch the frets but at the same time, they should not be very far away from the frets. Ideally, the gap between the strings and the frets is 3 mm. The wider it gets, the harder it is to play. Material used in the making of a Baglama is also very important. There are different types of tree trunks giving different types of sounds but generally mulberry wood, juniper, beech, spruce or walnut are used in the making.

    Which Type Saz Should I buy?

    There are different types of Baglamas deriving from various regions of Anatolia but when it comes to choosing the right Baglama for your music taste or playing techniques, the first question that comes to mind is whether it should be a long neck on short neck Baglama. These two types might have important roles on your style. The best advice for a Baglama learner to give is that he or she should know the differences between these two types of Baglamas.

    Long neck Baglama is the traditional type and is played by many well-known Baglama players. It has 23 frets. In 70’s it has shortened into 19 frets which concludes a short neck Baglama, allowing the performer to play easier, since it eliminates the obligation of making big leaps when playing a tune.

    Depending on the length of the necks, the sizes of the bodies of Baglamas vary. Also, the thickness of the strings change. The length of a body of a short neck Baglama changes from 38 to 42 cm. Long neck baglama’s body length may vary from 41 to 45 cm. Short neck Baglamas have strings of 0.18 mm, whereas long neck Baglamas have strings of 0.2 mm.

    Whether it’s long neck or short neck, no matter what your style is, we provide you with handmade Baglamas of the fine workmanship. With our wide range of Baglama options, we guarantee that you will find the perfect Baglama or Baglama related items for your taste and style.

    Read more

  • Differences Between 9 Kharak and 12 Kharak Santoor Differences Between 9 Kharak and 12 Kharak Santoor

    0 comments / Posted on by Veysel Sala

    When we think of Iran music and musical instruments, santoor (santur, sadouri, santouri) is the first instrument that comes to our mind because of its popularity and prominence in Iran classical music. Its attractive and magical sound appeals to musicians.

    The santoor has a wooden case having a trapeze form. Its strings are fixed to both sides of that case; they are fixed to hitch-pins placed along the left-hand side and to wrest-pins on the right. The wrest-pins serve the tuning of santoor. The strings are grouped in fours, and each quadruple set of strings pass through a wooden part called bridge or “kharak”. Bridges are aligned both on the left and right side, almost parallel with the sides of the case, therefore they divide a set of string to three parts.

    When you decide to buy a santoor, you will see that santoors can either have 9 or 12 bridges. This situation may confuse you, so if you read our explanation regarding the differences between 9 bridge and 12 bridge santoor, we believe your mind will be clearer and you will give the right decision.

    9 Kharak (Bridge) Santoor

    9 kharak santoor is the most widespread santoor used in Iran. There are 9 bridges on each side, so actually there are 18 bridges on santoor. These bridges group the strings in 9 quadruple strings, and this creates 27 notes that can be played on a santoor. This is the diatonic version of the santoor. However, santoors may contain more kharaks (bridges) than 9 and, as referred below, you can find chromatic versions of santoor too. The first series of strings has a range of e′–f″, the second e″–f ‴ and the third e ‴–f″″. The tuning can be readily modified by adjusting the position of the bridges.

    12 Kharak (Bridge) Santoor

    On a 12 kharak santoor, there are 12 bridges on each side of the santoor which gives us 24 bridges and more notes to play. This kind of santoor is not common yet, however it is becoming popular due to their bigger range. More importantly, 12 bridge santoor generates non-diatonic notes and it is easier to transpose a piece from one tonic center to another. That is why 12 bridge (kharak) santoor may also be called as chromatic santoor. Of course, its size is a bit bigger than 9 bridge santoor. 12 kharak santur has a range starting from e’ to a”” sharp.

    When we think of Iran music and musical instruments, santoor (santur, sadouri, santouri) is the first instrument that comes to our mind because of its popularity and prominence in Iran classical music. Its attractive and magical sound appeals to musicians.

    The santoor has a wooden case having a trapeze form. Its strings are fixed to both sides of that case; they are fixed to hitch-pins placed along the left-hand side and to wrest-pins on the right. The wrest-pins serve the tuning of santoor. The strings are grouped in fours, and each quadruple set of strings pass through a wooden part called bridge or “kharak”. Bridges are aligned both on the left and right side, almost parallel with the sides of the case, therefore they divide a set of string to three parts.

    When you decide to buy a santoor, you will see that santoors can either have 9 or 12 bridges. This situation may confuse you, so if you read our explanation regarding the differences between 9 bridge and 12 bridge santoor, we believe your mind will be clearer and you will give the right decision.

    9 Kharak (Bridge) Santoor

    9 kharak santoor is the most widespread santoor used in Iran. There are 9 bridges on each side, so actually there are 18 bridges on santoor. These bridges group the strings in 9 quadruple strings, and this creates 27 notes that can be played on a santoor. This is the diatonic version of the santoor. However, santoors may contain more kharaks (bridges) than 9 and, as referred below, you can find chromatic versions of santoor too. The first series of strings has a range of e′–f″, the second e″–f ‴ and the third e ‴–f″″. The tuning can be readily modified by adjusting the position of the bridges.

    12 Kharak (Bridge) Santoor

    On a 12 kharak santoor, there are 12 bridges on each side of the santoor which gives us 24 bridges and more notes to play. This kind of santoor is not common yet, however it is becoming popular due to their bigger range. More importantly, 12 bridge santoor generates non-diatonic notes and it is easier to transpose a piece from one tonic center to another. That is why 12 bridge (kharak) santoor may also be called as chromatic santoor. Of course, its size is a bit bigger than 9 bridge santoor. 12 kharak santur has a range starting from e’ to a”” sharp.

    Read more

  • The Ney and Sufi Music The Ney and Sufi Music

    0 comments / Posted on by Veysel Sala

    Ney is an oblique rim-blown flute in Arab countries, Central Asia and Iran. It is originally made of bamboo. Turkish ney is an instrument used in Turkish Art Music, besides it occupies an important place in the ensembles that play at the ceremonies of the Mevlevi order of Sufis established by Mevlana J. Rûmî.

    Ney has a long historical relationship with Sufi Islam. It is said that the sound of ney represents the longing and dense love felt for God when the human soul combined with human body craves for the love of God. The Mesnevi includes metaphors referring to ney and explains well the symbolism attached to ney. So, as for Mesnevi, the ney is the symbolic representation of the human. The Mesnevi immortalizes the ney as the perfect man (insan-ı kâmil) who is attributed with embodying divine forces. Even this man cries as if soul is separated from his homeland. Like the soul is separated from God, the reed is separated from the reed-bed and ney whispers this longing. Ney’s song is not just a sound, it carries a voice-like character.

    The image of “whirling dervishes” reminds the best the Mevlevi Sufi order. From the 1500s until 1900s this order had a political and artistic importance and dervish lodges were the places where a considerable amount of sacred and secular music was created. Sufism is a form of Islamic mysticism that takes many forms around the world. Among its essential rituals are zikr (meaning “recollection of God” in Arab, a practice involving the intense, rhythmic narration of the names of God) and sema, the whirling done by the devotees known as “dervishes”. These practices are a means of self-discipline, spiritual accomplishment and for reunion with God.

    In Turkey, sema is a visual spectacle; dervishes wearing long white robes turn for a half hour or more in perfect circles, one hand raised towards god, the other pointed towards Earth with musical accompaniment. Dervish lodges were closed in 1925 after the establishment of the Republic of Turkey and when they reopened, they functioned primarily as spaces for urban art-music performance.

    In Sufi order practice, for the rituals (called ayin) comprised of both zikr and sema practices music has a significant part. Many Mevlevi composers composed secular and sacred music and Mevlevi sacred music is considered to be a form of Turkish Art Music. The ney has a special significance to Mevlevis as Mevlana J. Rûmî played and wrote about ney. The first neyzen (ney player) we know is Mevlâna J. Rûmî. In the 18th century Istanbul, the majority of the ney players were Mevlevi dervishes. Dervishes also taught their pupils how to play ney, thus neyzens have been raised in lineages throughout the centuries.

    The ney has become the essential accompanying instrument in the rituals together with the kudüm (kettledrums) and the rebab. At the beginning of the ayin, the ears and souls are tuned with the performance the primary ney improvisation (baş taksim). This part also constitutes a sophisticated, independent art form. The Mevlevis’ vocal and instrumental compositions very elaborate and elevated pieces to be played on the ney since they are the most sophisticated expressions of the classical repertoire. These compositions are regarded the as the top example taken by Ottoman music.
    Ney is an oblique rim-blown flute in Arab countries, Central Asia and Iran. It is originally made of bamboo. Turkish ney is an instrument used in Turkish Art Music, besides it occupies an important place in the ensembles that play at the ceremonies of the Mevlevi order of Sufis established by Mevlana J. Rûmî.

    Ney has a long historical relationship with Sufi Islam. It is said that the sound of ney represents the longing and dense love felt for God when the human soul combined with human body craves for the love of God. The Mesnevi includes metaphors referring to ney and explains well the symbolism attached to ney. So, as for Mesnevi, the ney is the symbolic representation of the human. The Mesnevi immortalizes the ney as the perfect man (insan-ı kâmil) who is attributed with embodying divine forces. Even this man cries as if soul is separated from his homeland. Like the soul is separated from God, the reed is separated from the reed-bed and ney whispers this longing. Ney’s song is not just a sound, it carries a voice-like character.

    The image of “whirling dervishes” reminds the best the Mevlevi Sufi order. From the 1500s until 1900s this order had a political and artistic importance and dervish lodges were the places where a considerable amount of sacred and secular music was created. Sufism is a form of Islamic mysticism that takes many forms around the world. Among its essential rituals are zikr (meaning “recollection of God” in Arab, a practice involving the intense, rhythmic narration of the names of God) and sema, the whirling done by the devotees known as “dervishes”. These practices are a means of self-discipline, spiritual accomplishment and for reunion with God.

    In Turkey, sema is a visual spectacle; dervishes wearing long white robes turn for a half hour or more in perfect circles, one hand raised towards god, the other pointed towards Earth with musical accompaniment. Dervish lodges were closed in 1925 after the establishment of the Republic of Turkey and when they reopened, they functioned primarily as spaces for urban art-music performance.

    In Sufi order practice, for the rituals (called ayin) comprised of both zikr and sema practices music has a significant part. Many Mevlevi composers composed secular and sacred music and Mevlevi sacred music is considered to be a form of Turkish Art Music. The ney has a special significance to Mevlevis as Mevlana J. Rûmî played and wrote about ney. The first neyzen (ney player) we know is Mevlâna J. Rûmî. In the 18th century Istanbul, the majority of the ney players were Mevlevi dervishes. Dervishes also taught their pupils how to play ney, thus neyzens have been raised in lineages throughout the centuries.

    The ney has become the essential accompanying instrument in the rituals together with the kudüm (kettledrums) and the rebab. At the beginning of the ayin, the ears and souls are tuned with the performance the primary ney improvisation (baş taksim). This part also constitutes a sophisticated, independent art form. The Mevlevis’ vocal and instrumental compositions very elaborate and elevated pieces to be played on the ney since they are the most sophisticated expressions of the classical repertoire. These compositions are regarded the as the top example taken by Ottoman music.

    Read more