Baglama Saz | Turkish Traditional Instrument
An odd looking second hand instrument, we are excited to present you this wonderful piece from the east.
It is known to be the most commonly used string folk instrument in Turkey, the bağlama has seven strings divided into courses of two, two and three. It can be tuned in various ways and takes different names according to region and size: Bağlama, Divan Sazı, Bozuk, Çöğür, Kopuz Irızva, Cura, Tambura, etc. The cura is the smallest member of the bağlama family: larger than the cura is the tambura, tuned an octave lower. The Divan sazı, the largest instrument in the family, is tuned one octave lower still.
It sometimes is referred to as the saz (from the Persian, meaning an instrument), it is also sometimes referred to as the "cura", although the term "saz" actually refers to a family of plucked string instruments, long-necked lutes used in Ottoman classical music, Turkish folk music, Iranian music, Azeri music, Kurdish music, Assyrian music, Armenian music, and in parts of Syria, Iraq and the Balkan countries. Instruments resembling today's bağlama have been found in archaeological excavations of Sumerian and Hittite mounds in Anatolia dating before Common Era, and in ancient Greek works.
According to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "the terms 'bağlama' and 'saz' are used somewhat interchangeably in Turkey."Like the Western lute and the Middle-Eastern oud, it has a deep round back, but a much longer neck. It can be played with a plectrum or with a fingerpicking style known as şelpe.
In the music of Greece the name baglamas is given to a treble bouzouki, a related instrument. The Turkish settlement of Anatolia from the late eleventh century onward saw the introduction of a two-string Turkmen dutar, which was played in some areas of Turkey until recent times.
A bağlama has three main parts, the bowl (called tekne), made from mulberry wood or juniper, beech, spruce or walnut, the spruce sounding board (göğüs) and a neck of beech or juniper (sap). The tuning pegs are known as burgu (literally screw). Frets are tied to the sap with fishing line, which allows them to be adjusted. The bağlama is usually played with a mızrap or tezene (similar to a guitar pick) made from cherrywood bark or plastic. In some regions, it is played with the fingers in a style known as Şelpe or Şerpe.