Turkish Music Instruments



Thclarinete clarinet is a musical instrument  in the Woodwind family. The name derives from adding the suffix -et (meaning little) to the Italian word clarino (meaning a type of trumpet), as the first clarinets had a strident tone similar to that of a trumpet. The instrument has an approximately cylindrical bore , and uses a single read. 

Clarinets comprise a family of instruments of differing sizes and pitches. The clarinet family  is the largest such woodwind family, with more than a dozen types, ranging from the B B? contrabass   to the A?soprano.  Of these many are rare or obsolete, and music written for them is usually played on one of the more common types. The unmodified word clarinet usually refers to the B? soprano clarinet, by far the most common clarinet.

A person who plays the clarinet is called a clarinetist or clarinettist. The clarinet was invented in   Germany by Johann  Christopher  Denner   around the turn of the 18th century, by adding a register key   to the earlier chalumeau. Over time, additional keywork and airtight pads were added to improve tone and playability. Today, the clarinet is used in both jazz and classical ensembles, as well as in chamber groups and as a solo instrument.

Common to Turkish musical styles, the metal low G Albert system clarinet is 31 inches in overall length, with a 3 1/4 inch diameter bell. Rekor made, concert pitched in G, with two right hand ring keys, C and Eb key rollers, and a patant C# mechanism. Comes with a soft reed and nylon case with handles and carrying strap. For replacment reeds, have a look at our Bb clarinet reeds (WIN179A, B, or C, SPS645 / 646 / or 647, or any of our many flavors of "flavored" clarinet reeds).

Mustafa Kandirali, Husnu Senlendirici most of the popular master Turkish clarinet players

                                                                                                                                          From Wikipedia




Kudum (small double drum) consists of a pair of small, hemispherical drums. When used for religious purposes they were known as "kudüm", and as "nakkare" when used in a secular context or in mehter music. It was one of the four main instruments used in dervish mystical music (the others being the ney, rebap and halile) before its enrichment with instruments such as the tambur, kemençe and kanun.

The drums are some 28-30 cm. in diameter, made of beaten copper, and resemble two bowls, one larger than the other. Some 16 cm. high, these grow narrow towards the bottom. Skin 2 mm. thick is stretched over the mouth of the larger, and 1 mm thick over the smaller. The high-pitched drum (tek) is placed on the left, the other (düm) on the right. The tek, with its thinner skin, is slightly smaller than the düm. The drums are placed on two leather links filled with cotton to prevent them slipping and moving about, and are played with two wooden sticks known as "zahme". The metal body of the kudüm is generally covered with leather to prevent it giving off a tinny sound.

Kasik (spoon)


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Kasik (spoon) is a Turkish percussion instrument. The ones made from boxwood are particularly favoured. The handles are taken between the fingers and the oval parts are held towards the inside of the hand ina backto back position. There are also different holding style.

Tayyar Akdeniz Playing Kasik

Tayyar Akdeniz is playing kasik (spoon) in concert in Mexico City

Zilli masa/Calpare


zilli masaIt is in the shape of a two or three fork tongs. It carries a total number of 4 eyeballs, two attached on each fork of the tong. It is played by striking to the fingers of the other hand while one hand holds the tong. The other names for Zilli Masa are Masa and Saksak.

Çalpare (Çarpare)

It is composed of 4 pieces of wood in the shape of a spoon, generally, made of boxwood. They are attached to each other with a string or another substance. It is played like Zilli Masa. Two are held in the palm of one hand and the other two in the palm of the other hand and sound is produced by striking both of them.

This was popular in the Iranian music. It was later adapted by the Arabs and from them the Spaniards and eventually, "Kastanyet" were shaped up. Some of our proverbs are also assimilated with Çalpare. For instance; "Çalparasiz oynamak", "Etegi çalpara çalmak" means to be very joyful.

Source : Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture, Directorate General of Fine Arts

Zils (finger cymbals)


zil fingercymbals

Zills commonly have a diameter of about 5 cm (2 in). Accomplished dancers will often have a second — slightly larger — set for use in noisy situations. A set of zills consists of four cymbals, two for each hand.

Makers of zills commonly use brass rather than the bronze used for larger cymbals, but they may also employ many other alloys. They may plate some zills in order to give a silvery colour or a brighter surface. Dancers speak of silver tone and gold tone, and may have several sets with different tones for different dances, or of different colours to match different costumes. Modern dancers use elastic to secure the zills, one to the thumb and one to the middle finger of each hand. A hole or two slots allow the threading of the elastic through the zill. Performers use a variety of ways to cause the zills to ring, resulting in a wide range of sounds that the instruments can produce.

Zills belong to the standard instruments used in Ottoman military bands and also occasionally appear as part of Western orchestral or other musical performances. In these cases musicians usually just call them finger cymbals and use them to obtain a ringing sound with "Middle Eastern" associations. Percussionists playing finger cymbals sometimes use a less complicated technique than the traditional one used by dancers. The musician holds one cymbal in each hand by gripping the strap between the thumb and the index finger, and plays them by striking the rims together. They use this technique for occasional flourishes in the music rather than for complex rhythms and sounds.

Daire/Bendir/Tef/zillidef (tambourine)


tef def zillidef tanburin

The Daire/Tef (tambourine) percussion instrument was used in various ways by the ancient civilisations in Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Egypts, and by those that followed, as well as by the Ottomans for both religious and secular purposes. It then moved on from those regions to Europe.

The daire is about 30-40 cm. in diameter, and is made by stretching animal skin over one side of a wooden rim, generally made of walnut. Bronze discs, generally in pairs, are attached to struts running through holes in the rim. When the skin is struck, these discs rattle, producing a more colourful sound. As well as discs, various chains and links have also been employed. The instrument can come in different sizes, and large ones were used by shamans in former time, giving rise to the name "shaman tambourine". Versions without bells are more generally used in a religious context, and are called "bendir", "bender" or "mazhar".

Smaller tambourines are known as "tef", and these normally have a diameter of 28-30 cm. These are known as "duf" in Persian and "defik" in Arabic, and it is from these that the Turkish name comes. The most popular skins are dog and calf, although the skins of other animals are also used. The rim of the tef is usually 4-6 cm. tall. The rim is frequently decorated with veneers of various woods or ivory, mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell, making them more valuable.


       Tayyar Akdeniz

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