Saz (Baglama) has been the instrument of the minstrels in Turkey for centuries. It is known as baglama saz; divan sazi (court saz), bozuk, üç telli (three-string), on iki telli (twelve-string), cögür, kopuz, cura, and tambura, etc. depending on its size and region. Minstrels have expressed people's love, sorrow, resentments, and happiness with Baglama; they conveyed our tales the same way. Baglama saz family is available in various sizes. These are from large to small; Meydan Saz, Divan Saz, Çöğür (Bağlama), Bozuk, Cura and İkitelli are the instruments.
History of Saz
The saz, which emerged after its evolution in Anatolia, was considered a sacred instrument by the Turkmens. Today, discussions continue about which tree the reed boat will be made of, how thin its cover, and how long its stem will be.
To get to know the saz family, the Kopuz, known as the ancestor of these instruments, must first be recognized. People stretched thin skins on the upper part of the gourd and added stems, and bypassing the stringers over the skin, they made the sound clear. They named the ones played with bows as İklıg, and the ones played with fingers or plectrums as Kopuz. İklıg is known as the ancestor of string instruments. Kopuz is known as the ancestor of plectrum instruments.
To recognize the baglama and its family saz, one must first identify the Kopuz, known as the ancestor of these instruments. Known as the ancestor of the plectrum instruments, Kopuz is one of the oldest instruments of the Turks. This famous plectrum, which has been used for at least 1500 years, is still used by Central Asian and Siberian Turks, although it has left its place to baglama and family instruments in Anatolia today. Saz's name is first encountered in 18th-century texts.
Features of Saz
When we think of stringed instruments, the first thing that comes to mind is the saz. The wood types used in reeds also differ. This difference is related to the fact that the saz narrates the nomadic lifestyles of the ancient Turks. In Central Asia, it is called dombra. Today, it has different names and types.
When the saz types are ordered from the largest to the smallest, they are listed as square saz, divan saz, çöğür, baglama, bad, minstrel saz, tambura, cura baglama, two-string saz, and cura. The thick one is the square saz, and the thin one is the cura. The part that sits on our lap while playing the saz is the body. Also known as a boat. The body of the reed is made in two ways, either as a carving or as a leaf. The handle is made of wood.
Saz is an instrument with all melodies and a very effective sound. The saz has frets between 17-24. The most important feature of the saz is that it is made of trees that do not change shape. It is examined in two ways as the short and long stem. It has seven wires, a body, and handles.
Chestnut, mahogany, mulberry, juniper, wenge, spruce and chestnut are preferred for bag lama production. It is preferable to use the tree that gives the best results between sections, rather than using the same tree throughout the binding. Whichever tree is more suitable for the parts of the tie should be used. A good baglama; It should have good sound quality and balance.
The most important thing that shows the quality of the saz is the quality of the wood and the workmanship. The type of wood used in the making of the reed is a value that adds quality to its quality. The varnish on the saz, the quality of the strings, the arrangement of the curtains and the appearance of the boat are among the values that reveal the quality of the tying. If you want to choose a quality instrument, you should consider these principles.
The color tone between the outer part of the saz and the inner part should be in harmony. This can be easily understood by looking at the saz cage. In this way, it is understood whether a coating is made to hide the wood used in the saz. Saz parts should not be deformed.
There should be a reed cage in order to adjust the balance of the sound in the saz.
The spacing of the strings on the reed at the lower and upper thresholds should be equal to each other.
Long Neck Baglama Vs Short Neck Bağlama
The long-neck baglama is a traditional type of baglama. In the 1970s, the frets B and C were removed, and the short neck baglama was developed with a shortened neck baglama. The number of frets also varies among the baglama types; There are 23 frets in the long-neck baglama and 19 frets in the short-neck baglama. So, what are the differences between the long-neck baglama and the short-neck baglama? The differences between the long-neck and short neck baglama are as follows:
- The long-neck baglama is four frets longer than the short-neck baglama.
- Since the string of the long-neck baglama saz is longer, the timbre of its voice is longer.
- A short-neck baglama is more practical. It is easier to play a short-neck baglama than a long-neck baglama.
- The sound range and transmission are more comprehensive in the long-neck baglama.
- The long-neck baglama has a history of thousands of years, as its history dates back to the kopuz.
- The short-neck baglama is preferred by those who use the same octave.
- Both baglama saz types have their playing techniques.
Thanks to the easy-to-play melodies, it helps to increase your interest in baglama. Playing local melodies in arabesque music is more limited than long neck baglama.