Cümbüş (Cumbush or Cumbus) is a stringed instrument with aluminum body and skin soundboard. It bears its maker’s, Zeynel Abidin Cümbüş’s surname, which is given by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. Zeynel Abidin Cümbüş developed this instrument in 1930s. Actually, “cümbüş” means fun and revelry in Turkish. When you see a standard cümbüş, you will notice that it looks like and even sounds like an American banjo. All types of cümbüş generate a metallic timbre. Other than standard cümbüş, you will find in our catalogue the long-necked cümbüş which is played with a bow and called as sazbüş (sazbus). Under the cümbüş category you will also notice cümbüş with walnut and maple body, electric cümbüş, cura, long-neck and sort-necked sazbüş, and cümbüş ukulele. Do not hesitate to visit our store in Istanbul or check the variety of cümbüş in our catalogue through our website. We believe you will find here the right cümbüş for you at the best value.
History of cumbus
Cumbus, a type of Turkish banjo, consists of 6 pairs of strings. The handle made to hold the instrument is fretless. Its structure is similar to the American banjo and oud. The handle part can be separated from the point where it connects with the body. It is played with a plectrum. So what is the history of this ancient instrument?
This instrument was first discovered by Zeynel Abidin (1881-1947). In 1929, the instrument was introduced to Atatürk, and Atatürk named the instrument cumbus. In 1934, Zeynel Abidin changed his name to Zeynel Abidin Cumbus. Zeynel Abidin's wish for this instrument to be used in classical music as well did not come true. However, the festivity has a significant role in folk music. It has become a popular instrument, especially in ceremonies of gypsies, for example, at weddings. Because it is more effective than instruments such as trumpet and clarinet.
Considering its history, the cumbus, which is seen as a string instrument that is not in the place it deserves, is also suitable for different music. This unique musical instrument is in demand by some enthusiasts today. The musical instrument, which is easy to learn and enjoyable to play, has taken its place in the type of string instruments.
Types of cumbus
The change of the handle causes the cumbus to differ. Therefore, various types of cumbus can be created and processed with different voices and chords. In the Ottoman times, in the places called "Friend Assembly", having fun and singing songs accompanied by saz was called "revel". These types of cumbus are as follows:
- Standard cumbus; Fretless, tuned like an oud.
- Cura cumbus; It has a long handle and is skin-tuned.
- Drum cumbus; is quite long and tuned like a tanbur.
- Spring tanbur cumbus; is a genre played with a bow.
- Guitar cumbus; It is pitched and tuned like a guitar.
- Mando cumbus; curtains are gossip tuned to mandolins.
- Harmonic cumbus; It has a body made of wood.
Thanks to these different bodies, you can use cumbus uniquely in many music genres as desired. These advantages, this musical instrument has not received the value it deserves in Turkish music. It was mostly used as a folk instrument. At that time, Turkish music was heavier and more dominant in music, which caused the cumbus instrument to be popular.
Cümbüş is a stringed instrument among Turkish musical instruments. Thanks to its metal body and a fretless neck, it has a unique tone as well as a wide range of sounds.