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3.3.2. The Classical Turkish Music


The Classical Turkish Music

 1) The Non-religious Music

 1.a) The Vocal Music:

Kâr, karçe, beste, agir semai, yürük semai sarki, türkü, gazel, köçekce and tavsance.


They are the richest by form and melody in the non-religious vocal Turkish music. They are formed by musical pieces 2-3-4-5 each are called the hares or bends. The wordings of Kârs may be the 4-6-8 poetic verses.

In the beginning or in the end of the Kârs, some meaningless words are attached such as Ten-tane-tenen-tene-ten-yellelel-ah-vay-canim etc. and this part is called "Terennüm".

Occasionally, some meaningful words, though not poetic, were used too. And, these added melodical parts are called Nakis. Kârs were composed usually in the big rhythms, but there are the ones composed in the small rhythms as well.


Means the small Kâr.


The vocal or non-vocal composition consisting of 4 verses each followed by the same melodical passage. The big rhythms and the melodies are the aspects which constitute a dissimilarity with the songs.

Bestes are composed of 4 parts which are usually called the Hanes. The rhythmical modifications may, however, be made in Bestes. Beste, like the Kârs, may well be named as nakis.


Composed forms of various poems with Aksak Semai and Yürük Semai rhythms. They may be vocal or non-vocal.

- Agir Semai

It comes after the second Beste in the classical Turkish Fasil. It resembles Beste in many ways. The only difference is that they have to be measured by one of the rhythms such as 6/4 Sengin Semai, 6/2 Agir Sengin Semai, 10/8 Aksak Semai, and 10/4 Agir Aksak Semai.

Agir Semais are solemn music types. Their melodical structures resemble Bestes a 1ot. Like in Bestes, there are Nakis Agir Semai, kinds of Agir Semai too.

If Agir Semais are measured with one of the rhythms like Aksak Semai or Agir Aksak Semai, they are called "Rhythmic" and not "Forma". Namely, when one says "Aksak Semai of such and such Fasil" it is understood that it is a composition in the Fasil in the form of Agir Semai.

- Yürük Semai:

It is the last vocal work of the classical Turkish Fasil. It resembles Beste and Agir Semai in many ways. The only difference is that they have to be measured with Yürük Semai rhythm. Here, the rhythm has equal meanings with the forms. Their melodical and vocal structures are identical with those of the Bestes. There are Nakis Yürük Semai forms in Yürük Semais. Yürük Semai is the most rhythmic form of music type that is performed in the end of the group concerts.


They are the composing forms of poems with 4-5-6 or more verses. The parts of the songs are Zemin, Nakarat and Miyan. There are "aranagmes" in between these parts. They are, generally, composed in small rhythms.

Although the early samples of songs could be traced in the 18th century, they have gained their main characteristics within the artistic understanding of Haci Arif Bey and Sevki Bey who have grown in the atmosphere of "Romantic Poetry" as from the second half of the 19th Century.

Songs were composed rather in the Divan poems and Folk poems. The old songs, although they were composed in the rhythm called "Sarki devri revani", were generally in short rhythms.


It is a vocal music practiced in the countryside by the musical instruments like Baglama, Cura, Divan Sazi, Zurna, Davul, Darbuka, Kaval, Kemençe, Kabak Kemane etc. Their composers are unknown. The wordings of Türküs are written in syllabic meter taken up from the folk poetry.

Türküs are a subject of extensive research work with their characteristic melodically rhythmical and formation patterns. We shall not dwell upon it any further because this type is beyond.

Some of the folk songs of the otantic character, have gained a classical identity by the passage of time and eventually, have been included in the Turkish Classical Music Repertoir.

They were performed in the solo and group concerts as the light Turkish music forms.


This is exactly what taksim is in a fasil and performed not instrumentally but vocally. It is performed in a free style. It is spontaneously performed by the singer. Apart from the actual words of the Gazel, some other exclamations are also added in it such as "Of", "Aman", "Bedet" and "Ey".

Gazel may be performed separately and after the Miyan of the songs. Or, it can be sung at the suitable place of the Miyan.


They are the most rhythmic and interesting forms of our classical music. In this form of music, vocal and non-vocal musical pieces have been used as elements of dancing. Köçekçeler sometimes become fast and sometimes not in rhythm. The male dancers are called Köçek and the female ones Çengi.

Dances who were clad in special garments were generally selected among the non-Muslim groups of people.

Köçekçeler most of which are long-forgotten today, were composed in modal tones such as Hicaz, Gerdaniye, Karcigar, Hüzzam, Hicazkar and Mahur.

The performance of Köçekçeler was realised by the instruments such as kemençe, lavta, tamburine and sometimes zurna and nakkare. These were called "kaba saz" team of musical instruments.


These are the melodies performed by the Tavsan boys or the Tavsan girls and they resembled Köçekçeler. They were composed rather in "Sema" rhythms though short rhythms were also practiced.

Most of these Tavsancalar which are very few at hand today, have been composed by our great music composers.

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 1.b) The Instrumental Music

These are Taksim, Pesrev, Saz Semaisi, Oyunhavasi, Fasil and Aranagmeler.


It is performed by a musician himself spontaneously. It is not easy to put Taksims in musical notes though possible. Taksims are performed, in general, to guide the course of a modal system.


Pesrevs are performed by musical instruments. It means "The one which goes ahead". It is performed usually in the beginning of Fasils.

Pesrevs are composed of 2-3-4-5 or more parts. These parts are called "Hane" and the part performed after the Hane is called "Teslim".

Pesrevs are, generally, composed in 4 forms. Let us indicate each Hane with a letter in order to understand it more asily.

Namely, first Hane (A), Second (B), Third ( C), Fourth (D), and the Teslim (T):

Teslim (T) apart from lanes, can be indicated as:
Namely, Teslim is performed after each hane.

2.Teslim (T) is within the Hanes and attached to them

3.The first Hane is also used in place of Teslim.

4.Pesrevs attached to each Hane and with separate Teslim for each Hane.

- Patakli Pesrev:

It is a kind of Pesrev, a part of which is performed by a solo musical instrument. Shortly, Patak is a melody played by an independently single instrument. They may be composed in 4 forms as described above. They are, generally, composed in big rhythms as well as the small.

 Saz Semai:

They are performed in the end of a Fasil. They may be with 3-4-5 Hanes. The rhythmical modifications are done generally in their final parts.

1.Teslim (T) is separate from the lanes.
Teslim is performed after each Hane.

2.Teslim and Hane performed simultaneously.

3.The first Hane is used as a Teslim at the same time.

4.Teslim is performed after Banes. Int, Teslim has 2 parts after Hane, the first part of Teslim is performed and then back to hane again. Eventually, back to other Hane after having performed the second part of Teslim.
a)A+T (1-2)
b)B+T (1-2)
c)C+T (1-2)
d)D+T (1-2)
Namely: (A-T 1)-(A-T 2)

 Oyun Havasý:

More highly and more gayful forms compared to Pesrev and Semai like melodies. Composed in small rhythms. They may have been composed for listening and dancing purposes. Longa and Sirto like forms performed in the end of Fasil or Köçekce can, however, be considered in this group

 Ara Naðmeler:

They are the melodies instrumentally performed in between the parts of songs generally. Sometimes they are performed before or after the songs.They are performed to link a song with the proceeding one in a Fasil.


They resemble Pesrev by structure. But they are performed more freely than the Pesrevs. They may be with 2-3-4 Hanes. They may even be with or without Teslim. Longas are kind of "oyun havasi", mostly measured by 2/4 Him Sofyan Rhythm. They are Yürük and lively.


They are the melodies more freely performed compared to Longas, with or without Hanes and measured by any of the small rhythms. They have got their own rhythms.

 Group Concerts (Fasýl):

"Küme fasli" is the oldest form of performing of the Classical Turkish Music. The number of singers and instrument players are kept as high as possible with the aim of obtaining a supreme volume of voice during the performance of this monophonic music type. On the other hand "Ince saz" concert groups were formed in less member of singers and instrument players after the second half of the 19th century.

The programs were conducted by a chief-singer, "Serhanende", with a tambourine in his hand. The group concerts of today have, more or less, the same characteristics of the past.

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 2) The Religious Music:

The religious music is a type of music vocally or instrumentally performed by hatips, muezzins, or whole of attendants in mosques as well as by singers, zakirs and mikreps in the courts.

 2.a)The mosque music: Salat, Mahvel Sürmesi, Tekbir, Tevhid, Temcit, Münacaat, Mevlid, Ezan, Ilahi.

Salat ve Selam:

It is an arabic worded melody measured by Durak Evferi rhythm in order to convey God's blessings onto the Prophet Mohammed. Its scheme is A+B. The leading Salats available of this category are: Sabah (morning) Salati, Cuma (Friday) Salati, Bayram (religious fest) salati, Cenaze (funeral) Salati, and Salati Ummiye.

Mahvel Surmesi :

It is performed during the Tesbih Ceremony after the Namaz.


It is a kind of hymn which praises the Prophet Mohammed.


It is performed collectively at the religious festivity prayings. The words are in Arabic and expresses the divinity of the God. It is in Segah Modal System and belongs to Itri. Its scheme is A+B.


It is a kind of prayer in singing form practicedby the muezzins, at dawn, in the Ramadan months and the holy days.


It is created by the composing of eulogy-like poems which praised God for his blessings and forgiveness. The words are in Arabic and in Turkish. It is measured by Durak Evferi rhythm.


It is a religious melody symbolizing the Prophet Mohammad's ascent to Heaven.


Süleyman Celebi's eternal melody which symbolizes the Prophet Mohammad's birth and his beauties.


A kind of hymn performed in Mevlids.


A kind of practice to call the Muslims for praying at the time of Namaz from the top of the minarets of the mosques. Words are in Arabic and performed in a free style. However, some composed types of Ezan exist also.


Rymns in Arabic words.

 2.b) The mystic music: Tasavvuf, Tekke, Tarikat music, Mevlevi Ayini, Durak, Ilahi, Nefes etc.

Ayin (Hymn):


It is a kind of music which expresses the religious and mystic feelings and is written in Kosma style. Hymns were measured by various big and small rhythms. Its scheme is A+B or A+B+C+B.


A kind of hymn

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 3) Turkish Military Music

 3.a) Turkish Music as of Early Ages

The first documents of Turkish military music are available in the ancient Turkish inscriptions. In the Orhun inscriptions, written in the VII th century, and in the SINE-USU inscription, Köbrüge and UG (a kind of drum) have been mentioned. In the SINE-USU inscription, reference has been made to: "UC TUGLIG TURK BUDUNIG" (Turkish nation with three TUGs) and "TUG TASIKIR YELME ERI" (an outpost guard carrying TUG). The word TUG includes meanings such as: KOS (a big drum) and DAVUL (a drum), NEVBET DAVULU (a drum beaten for those of the turn of duty in the military etc.), MEHTERHANE (military band in a suite of a vizier or prince) and SANCAK (a flag).

The line of: "TUGUM TIKIP URULDI" (TUG has been beated) reflects the meaning of TUG for SANCAK-DAVUL (flag-drum).

In the book of DIVANU LUGAT-IT TURK, older Turkish traditions have been preserved with great care and were told when the right moment came: during the time when Alexander the Great inclined towards the Turks country, the young Turkish khan SU was having 360 NEVBET drums beated in front of his palace in BALASAGUN EVERYDAY for his chieftains.

The passages of "HAN TUG URDI" and "TUG URULDI" (The Khan had drums beaten) (Drums were beaten) mean the performance of MEHTERHANE (The building of the imperial military band)

In the XI th century, KÜVRÜG (the big drum), TUG BORGUY (trumpet), ÇENG (cymbal) instruments were known. The Turkish BORU was famous in the name of "NAY-I TÜRKI:" and was played during the wars. We also come across to it in the poetry of NIZAMETTIN from GENCE town. MAHMUT from KASGAR writes that drums and trumpets were played in the battle between BÜKE BUDRAÇ and ARSLAN TEKIN GAZI. The trace of Turkish TUG before the Moslem was discovered by HOCA ABDÜLKADIR-I MERAGI in the early XV th century. Although military music was existed in that period, MERAGI's findings remind us those of 400 years ago.

Number of TUGs could not be more than 9. This tradition of 9 drums were even preserved in the Ottoman's time, the MEHTERHANE of the commander-in-chief was in 9 FOLDS in battles. The Sultan's MEHTERHANE was widened to 12 folds in the XVIII th century and an arrangement was made to widen it in such a way that can be regarded 16 folds in the XVIII th century.

Using drums and flags by Turkish Sultans as a sign of sovereignty has spread and been adopted in the Moslem world through Turks. Turks have maintained this old tradition in the Moslem states they had established. The word TUG has taken the form of "TABIL HANE" (military band) and NEVBET and MEHTERHANE in OTTOMANS, but the original tradition remained unchanged.

Whenever Sultans have wished to confer someone a chieftainship or a principality, they did not neglect to give a flag and a drum together with the other equipment. When they have got the post back from the same person, they received back the flag and the drum they had given because these signs were state property and unless conferred by Sultans they could not be used.

We see military bands in Abbasids, Harzemshahs, the Great Seljuk Empire and Anatolian Seljuks, Ilkhanids, Mamelukes and Anatolian Principalities. To show the relation of MEHTERHANE in the Ottomans, the successor of the Anatolian Seljuks with the XI th century military music, it is appropriate to mentions a few records about the bands in the Anatolian Principalities.

The music, conducted by TABILHANE in the times of the Great Seljuks and the Anatolian Seljuks used to be called NEVBET. At each NAMAZ (Prayer) time, totally five times a day, the Seljuks had five nevbets played. This custom is seen beginning from the ruler MELIKSAH's time up to the decline of the Anatolian Seljuks.

In a few passages of the book of MÜSAMERET ÜL-AHBAR by Aksarayli KERIMUDDIN MAHMUD, it has been confirmed that the same tradition used to be practiced. Emphasis has been also placed on the organisation of the military music bands in the Anatolian Principalities. The author H.ADNAN ERZI gives information to us from the book: DÜSTURNAME-I ENVERI (Enveri Code) and other sources about the music conducted in AYDINOGULLARI, KARAMANOGULLARI, GERMIYANOGULLARI and KADI BURHANEDDIN's army. The Anatolian Principalities have copied the Seljuks on organisation and ceremonies, naturally to a small extent.

In the bands the following instruments were available: TABIL (drum), NAKKAARE (a small kettledrum), NELIR, BORI or BORU (trumpet), SURNAY, ZENC and KÜS (a big drum). All of these instruments used to be played in battles.

The Ottoman Principality, one of the Anatolian Principalities established last, received TABIL and flag from the Seljuk Sultan and had his drums-and-zurna played in the battles after a period of time. The Ottomans not only has maintained the MEHTERAN tradition but also improved its organisation, orderliness and quality of music.

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 3.b) The Ottoman Mehter Music

 3.b.i) I.Period (from its foundation to 1826)

 TERMINOLOGY: The post of MEHTER is rooted from MIHTER after some sound changes in our language, we understand that it is originally a Persian word. MIH (great) and TER compose the word: "MIHTER", meaning; great, the biggest, very large. It has been used in the forms of MIHTER or MIHTAR in some Moslem states, in MAMELUKES and in the place organisation of TURKISTAN to mean; an officer or vizier.

It is unknown when the MEHTER term which meant a top official, has been accepted in the Ottomans; the term MEHTER covered three kinds of posts in the XVII the century:

1.MEHTERAN-I ALEM or MEHTERAN-I TABL-Ü ALEM meaning, performer mehters and standard-bearers.


3.INTERIOR MEHTERS meaning; those doing general services in the government houses and palaces.

Since the term MEHTERAN-I HAYME was met in a document dated 1478, it is estimated that the two terms; MEHTERAN-I ALEM or MEHTERAN-I TABL-U ALEM in the same period to replace it. On the other hand, we come across to the term MEHTER (plural MEHTERAN) meaning a member of the military band in the XVI th century. In the XVII th century, three types of mehters were described with different terms as indicated above. In order to differentiate these three types of mehters in that period, it is necessary that the terminology had to be written in their full form. Otherwise, even in the texts of that century, confusion does happen.

Those MEHTER musicians included in the Sultan's band had been recorded as: "MEHTERAN-I TABL-Ü ALEM-I HASSA".

All the musician MEHTERs working under the supervision of EMIR-I ALEM (pasha of the lowest grade) had been together with the standard-bearers in the so called MEHTERAN-I ALEM or MEHTERAN-I TABL-Ü ALEM communities. In the organisation of TABL-Ü ALEM mehters, the tradesman MEHTERS who have different employment features and the official performer-mehters, the main personnel group of this organisation produces the overall musical composition of this community.

The following difference was mentioned in several passages of the book: "SEYAHATNAME (The Travels) by EVLIYA ÇELEBI, between the official MEHTERHANE and the tradesman MEHTERHANE under it; in this book, the official MEHTERHANE was indicated in such terms as: TABL-Ü ALEM MEHTERHANESI, AL-I OSMAN MEHTERHANESI or TABLI OSMANI, while for the others only the term MEHTERHANE was used.

If we summarise these terms, in the Ottoman period, they were used to correspond the following performers:

MEHTER= A musician employed in the military band

MEHTERAN= plural of the term MEHTER

MEHTERHANE= has the meanings of; military music institute and military band

MEHTERBASI= the head of the organisation or the chief of the mehter bands, below the EMIR-I ALEM in rank.

MEHTERAN-I ALEM= It is the term for the organisation and it also covers the standard-bearers together with the musicians

MEHTERAN-I TABL-Ü ALEM= a substitute term used for this organisation and community. Its dictionary meaning is; drum and flag mehters.

MEHTERAN-I TABL-Ü ALEM-I HASSA= Sultan's mehters who compose the flag carriers group and the band.

BAS-MEHTER AGA= It is the title of the SER-TABL (head of the band) of Sultan's MEHTERHANE in the first quarter of XIX th century. (This should not be confused with the MEHTER-BASI).

Terms rooted from the word; mehter are those of the Ottoman period. They cannot be linked with the Seljuks period or the previous periods of the Interior Asian Turks. However, in the Ottoman period, again the term TABILHANE was not used as widespread as its equivalent MEHTERHANE. The term; TABILHANE had the meaning of the institute of military music, in the Seljuks period as well. When we go back to the earlier periods from the Seljuks; in those periods the term of TUG had been known. It is helpful to mention the identity here to specify the tradition which had been practiced for 9 centuries in the minimum the term TUG had the meaning both for the drum and the flag in old Turks while the same meaning was expressed with the term: TABL-Ü ALEM in Ottomans.

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 The Organisation

 The Beginning and the Development

The MEHTERHANE organisation in Ottomans starts with the TABIL and ALEM sent to Osman Bey by the Seljuk Sultan as a sign of sovereignty. Here, we should indicate some of the international rules or laws:

If a state or ruler at a high level of sovereignty does not send a TABIL and an ALEM to his subject rulers, none of them can use such signs or instruments. The sender of the TABL-Ü ALEM used to tell the receiver rulers on the number of NEVBET performances they could fulfill. Since having a MEHTERHANE exercise a musical performance and using a flag were a sign of sovereignty in the Turkish-Ottoman world, they had to be carried out in accordance with these rules. (NEVBET= Military music performed at certain hours of a day).

After the Seljuks had learned about the victories of OSMAN GAZI, they turned over the possession of SÖGÜT and its surroundings to him in 1284 and instruments representing sovereignty were sent as well. Among these instruments were TUG, ALEM, TABIL and NAKKAARE. When these signs of sovereignty arrived, it was afternoon. OSMAN GAZI held his council and had, for the first time, NEVBET played. Thus, in the state of Ottoman, performing military music has officially started. OSMAN BEY and his attendants listened to the NEVBET, standing. Ottoman rulers from the first performance of NEVBET to the sultanate, whenever they had NEVBET played, when they went to war or during a war, they listened to it, standing. But Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Mehmet II, the Congueror) abolished this tradition since he had deemed it unnecessary.

The first, establishment years of MEHTERHANE organisation are vague. In the period of Mehmet II, the Conqueror and later, for instance, in the period of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman (Suleiman the Magnificent) we come across to some indications that the MEHTER organisation has been improved and reorganised and emphasis placed on it.

II.Sultan Selim-ruled from 1789 to 1807-has made some changes, for instance; he had KÖS included in the MEHTERHANEs for the music training of all the mehters and for the harmony of the HASSA (imperial) military band during their performance.

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 Zurnazenbasi (The head of the players of Zurna)

ZURNAZENBASI was the third in rank after the EMIR-I ALEM and the head mehter in the TABL-Ü ALEM mehters community. Superiority of him, in comparison with BÖLÜKBASI's (captain) who played the other instruments was on account of his instrument. Because, ZURNA (a primitive double-reed instrument played with a drum) is an instrument which has the power to reflect the melody fully in mehter music in unique for centuries. Since with the other instrument of the military band (MEHTERHANE) BORU (trumpet), it was not possible to play PESREV, it could not compete with ZURNA. In the XVIII th century, in the imperial band, 16 ZURNAs used to be played simultaneously; harmony in the performance of all the ZURNAs was dependent upon the ability and skill of the ZURNAZENBASI.

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 Detachments of TABL-Ü ALEM MEHTERS

In the period of Sultan Bayezid-I Veli (II. Beyazit) the following detachments of tabl-ü alem mehters were on duty at the headquarters (in the capital Istanbul):

1.NAKKAREZENAN detachment
2.SURNAZENAN detachment (zurna players)
3.RABBALIN (player of a zurna) detachment
4.ALEMDARAN (standart-bearers) detachment
5.ZENÇÇIYAN detachment
6.NEFIRIYAN detachment
7.SAKIRDAN detachment

If noticed, KÖS and ÇEVGAN (the hook drum stick) detachments are not included in this list. Because, previously, those who use ÇEVGAN were not from the organisation and they had participated in the MEHTERHANEs. KÖSes had been kept in a separate building; namely KÖSHANE.

If we think about all of the TABL-Ü ALEM mehters, the following mehter detachments were existed at the Ottoman capital under the supervision of the head mehter.

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 Instrument Detachments:

1.Detachment of ZURNA players: an agha is responsible for the supervision of this detachment whose title is either ZURNAZENBASI or SER-ZURNA, meaning; head of the ZURNA players.

2.Detachment of the trumpet players: an agha is responsible for the supervision of this detachment. He is called either BORUZEN-BASI or SER-BORU.

 Mehter Tradesmen:

A portion of TABL-Ü ALEM Mehters were composed of the MEHTER TRADESMEN. Such mehter musicians used to make their living, playing mehter instruments at entertainment clubs. On the other hand, they had official duties at the peace time. At some NEVBET PLACES, they also conducted NEVBET music. In addition, they joined the official MEHTERHANE in the time of war. Thus, number of individuals of MEHTERHANE in the time of war increased by twofold of the number at the peace time.

 Mehterhane Locations:

At some castles, cities and NEVBETHANEs, MEHTERHANES used to exercises their music on the 'Nevbet' hills and mehterhane towers. Such mehterhanes were obliged to perform their usual NEVBETs in both peace and war times at stationary establishments. For instance, there were two NEVBETHANEs at DEMIRKAPI and GALATA towers in the province of Istanbul.

 Mehterhane Owners

The right to have a MEHTERHANE was limited on the basis of the number of instruments which composed the MEHTER bands. Since having a MEHTERHANE exercise music was regarded as signs of sovereignty and independence for the rulers, the most crowded MEHTERHANEs belonged to Sultans. MEHTERHANEs of Ottoman Sultans have widened by 12 folds from 9 (XVII th century) and later by 16 folds (XVIII the century). Number of the members of the imperial MEHTERHANE could go up to 237 including the standard-bearers, in the time of war.

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 Mehter Music

 Sound System:

The sound system of MEHTER music is the same as Turkish music we know of. At the "YÇERÜ", the imperial higher school, not only MEHTER music but also high class artistic music and music for minstrels in a limited degree used to be instructed in the same music system and on the basis of the same training rules.

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 Mehter Music Tunes:

The tunes of MEHTER music, in general, are the same exercised in other branches of Turkish music. But they have been used with a style and understanding, expressing the MEHTER MUSIC, in mehter pieces. At the present time, since military marches are composed in major and minor tones in our music world, we have not had any concrete idea that military music pieces could have been composed with the Turkish music tunes. Because, after the year 1826, all of the MEHTERHANE repertory have lost. However, after the old MEHTER melodies have been searched and found, we came to the conclusion that the tunes had taken a role in the old army music.

On the basis of note texts available and some other records, we can list the tunes practices in MEHTER music as follows:


Due to the fact that in the formation MEHTER bands, of the majority of the instruments such as KÖS -davul-nakkare and zil are the kinds of the instruments beaten. It is beyond doubt that the MEHTERHANE patterns have been used with great care in this institute.

We have a pattern list, a quite long one, which contains a lot of rhythmic patterns. We meet some of them in the classic music, the following patterns are taken from MEHTER music with some explanations:

1.AHLATY-It is a pattern belongs to the Ahlat city.


3.Beref?an-Beref?an is a pattern of 16 beats

4.CENG-Y HARBY-It is both a pattern and a military music form. In the CENG-Y HARBY form, many melodies have been composed using various patterns. These have been studied, but still, this pattern cannot be analysed and explained clearly and exactly. We can only obtain the following results:

a)NEVA CENG-Y HARBY (with notes, XVII the century) It has been analysed and we come to the conclusion that a kind of CENG-Y HARBY has had 4,8 or 16 beats.

b)Pieces called SEMAY-Y HARBY, one of the forms of MEHTER music, have been exercised in the battles of Turkish Army and in time, people started to call it CENG-Y HARBY and the SEMAY-Y HARBY pattern has spread over the Ottoman Empire communities with the term of CENG-Y HARBY. It has 12 beats.

c)A CENG-Y HARBY with 10 beats has been presented by HÜSEYYN SADETTYN AREL and DR.SUPHY EZGY:


This pattern is accepted as CENG-Y HARBY. But we have not sufficient proof that it has been used by Ottomans. On the other hand, based on this pattern, which was presented in the XX th century, some pieces have been composed and with this practice, this pattern was included among the Turkish music patterns.


6.DEF Pattern (Def= tambourine with cymbals)

7.DEGYSME (Change)

It is a group of five patterns, namely: DÜYEK, ÇENBER, FAHTE, BEREF?AN and SEMAY-Y HARBY. However, turn of conduct of these patterns in music work is different from the pattern groups such as ZINCIR and others.


9.DEVR-I KEBIR: It includes DEVR-I KEBIR patterns of 14 or 28 beats.

10.DUYEK: with this pattern, HARBI PE?REVs have, in general, been composed and measured. The DÜYEK pattern type which has been practiced in HARBI PE?REVs, was later called PE?REV. Although we know of the form of the DÜYEK pattern we exercise in classic music, we do not know the pattern of HARBI PE?REVs played in MEHTERHANE precisely. After analysing this matter, the following arrangement has been obtained:




11.FAHTE: A FAHTE pattern of 10 beats.

12.FAHTE: A FAHTE pattern of 20 beats.

13.FER (Fer'i Muhammes)

14.HAFIF: A HAFIF pattern of 16 beats.

15.HAFIF: A HAFIF pattern of 32 beats.


17.PE?REV: This pattern is estimated to be another term used for HARBI DÜYEK pattern.

18.REVANI: It is a pattern meaning: REVAN's or related to march. It is possible to link it with the patterns: DEVR-I REVAN or ?ARKI DEVR-I REVANI.

19.SAF: It is related to SAF which was one of the ways in forming a line of battle fulfilled in Ottoman period. (Saf= getting prepared for a battle and fighting, by forming a line of battle). This pattern used to be exercised with the instruments of beating and then, the soldiers used to form the lines. But we do not know the number of beats, its words and its rhythmic patterns either.

20.SAKIL: It is a pattern of 48 beats.

21.NIM SAKIL: It is a pattern of 24 beats.

22.SEMAI: It is a pattern of 6 beats. Today, we call it YÜRÜK SEMAI, but this is wrong. We call the pattern of 3 beats SEMAI, again, this is against the historical facts.

23.SEMAI HARBI: It is the pattern for SEMAIs played in the time of war. It is of 12 beats. It has been practiced a lot in battles and hence, replaced CENG-I HARBIs and even for a certain period of time was called CENG-I HARBI. (See CENG-I HARBI). I determined the beats of this pattern after the researches I had made on both many works of music and music folklore and in accordance with some other data, as follows:


But, this pattern, as many similar MEHTERHANE patterns, is of instrumental in kind, while the pattern is being beaten during the solfeggio, the above form (bölünme) can also be exercised as follows:


In time, other variations of SEMAY HARBY have been produced as well:

a)2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
b)2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1

24.SOFYAN: This pattern has been recognised as a pattern of 4 beats for a long time.

25.ZARBEYN: It is a group of patterns produced through, in general, the combination of 2 big patterns.

26.ZARB-I FETYH: It is a pattern of 88 beats.

Above, was have almost presented all of the patterns known as MEHTERHANE patterns and exercised in the past by MEHTERs. Among them are; patterns for military music, those exercised in our classical music in combination and those belong to the MEHTERHANE exclusively. Although there are some other MEHTER patterns not listed here, a clear explanation or solution does not seem possible yet. Let's mention some of these outstanding patterns: 1.HALYLEVY 2.KALENDERY 3.TÜRKÜ 4.NAKI? 5.MURABBA 6.EZGY etc.

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 Mehter Instruments

Instruments played in MEHTERHANEs, have been resolved definitely after a long period of exercise. In the mean time, there have been other instruments used temporarily in MEHTERHANE other than those played constantly. Throughout history -by the year 1826- if we take into account all of the instruments whether used in MEHTERHANEs or at other units of the army together, we can categorise the MEHTER instruments as follows:



III.CYMBALS and ÇINGIRAKs (small bell): Cymbal and ÇEVGAN.

KURRENAY, one of the MEHTER instruments is, in fact, not an instrument of OTTOMAN MEHTERHANE. It belongs to the Mehterhane in Persians -Iranian Turks. During a battle, this instrument has been seized with its players and they then were employed in some of the Rumalia castles.

MEHTER DÜDÜGÜ was an instrument for the beginner players. It was not used in MEHTERHANE.

TABILBAZ is a striking or beating instrument used in the Ottoman army by regiment sergeants. A couple of it (each of them quite a big NAKKAARE) tied onto the saddle of the horses. It was not used in MEHTERHANEs either.


KABA ZURNA is the fundamental instrument of MEHTERHANE while, CURA ZURNA, on the other hand, is an instrument of music which has entered in MEHTERHANE in exceptional occasions. It has been observed in a miniature as an instrument of the head MEHTER on a hours.

Today, at the Military Museum Mehterhane KABA ZURNA, made of wood, is played. Its length is nearly 55 cm. A spout is attached to the body in the mouth section, made of brass sheet or another metal. And at the end of it there is a reed. 7 pitch holes are essential on its body from which pitches from (FA) to (MI) notes are obtained. The other small holes -usually 8 holes- are located at the big, round end of ZURNA. These small holes allow this instrument for the adjustment of height-lowness. KABA ZURNA is usually made of plum or apricot trees.

BORU (Trumpet): Looking at BORUS without pitches, we can reach the conclusion that the old MEHTERHANE trumpets give out sounds in the form of broken accords: DO-SOL, DO-MI, SOL or SOL-RE, SOL-SI-RE etc. In other words, BORU was an accompanying instrument in MEHTERHANE, it gave out long bass sounds and could make rhythmic patterns of accompanies.

II.KÖS (See the Classical Turkish Music Section)

DAVUL (drum) (See C.T.M. instruments Section): a wooden frame in the shape of a cylinder and at both sides of the frame, stretched skins and stretching ties on the frame, cord for hanging the drum, stick; the beating device (it is beaten with the right hand) and the thin stick (is it beaten with the left hand) are the components of the drum. The drum is the instrument with which the pattern can be fulfilled best. Ability of producing vibrations in both sides enables its sound to be heard from very long distances.

NAKKARE (See the Classical Turkish Music Instruments Section)

III.CYMBAL (See the Classical Turkish Music Instruments Section)


ÇEVGANs used to be played by the vizier pages -sergeant in rank- ÇEVGAN was a device-rather than a musical instrument-used for administrative assignments and ceremonies as well. For instance, whenever the ÇEVGAN is hung on the curtain of the door of the vizier's room, it used to mean that confidential talks were going on inside and as long as it was hung there, nobody could go in that room. ÇEVGANs were seen together with the other mehter instruments only in COUNCILs (Divans). The vizier page sergeants used to participate in the MEHTERHANE concerts (FASILs) and when the concert ended they cried "ALA HEY" by rattling their ÇEVGANs. But in the present MEHTERHANE, it is regarded as one of the essential instruments. Those who use ÇEVGAN exercise the pattern with their ÇEVGANs during the instrumental performance and take part the melody with their voice as singers during oral performance. Those who hold ÇEVGAN are called ÇEVGANY.

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 Mehter Band Folds

In the work of ARYFY PASHA, MECMUA-Y TESAVYR-Y ISMANYYE published in XIX th century, a picture of a MEHTERHANE of 9 folds is seen. This picture gives us some ideas in connection with the sound combination of the vizier MEHTERHANEs.

We can see that 9 ZURNAs, 9 trumpets (BORU), 9 drums 9 Nakara's, 9 cymbals and 9 çevgans in the MEHTER band and that the head MEHTER conducts the MEHTERHANE with a KABA ZURNA with his hand and that in a supervisory position, the vizier page master sergeant is standing in front of the ÇEVGANYs with a ÇEVGAN in his hand. Thus, the number of the vizier MEHTERHANE of 9 folds add up to 56 individuals. Since KÖS es are instruments of Sultan and in each band appropriate number of KÖS participates under the command of SER-ASKER (military leader) who has the battle mission, is not included in the above number of individuals mentioned for MEHTERNAME.

For those who have been authorised to have MEHTER band perform music in how many folds, were determined by laws and regulations. Sultans could use the most crowded MEHTERHANE. A Sultan was having a 9 fold MEHTERHANE, but, in the XVII th century this went up to 12 folds and on the other hand, it was observed that the number of ZURNAs was increased in the XVIII th century neglecting the calculation of the fold.

The Grand Vizier used to have a 9 fold MEHTERHANE played in the XVII the century. Folds of various authorities who played it, have been fixed in different numbers from 9 downward: 9 fold MEHTERHANE, 8 fold MEHTERHANE, 7 fold MEHTERHANE, 6 fold MEHTERHANE, 5 fold MEHTERHANE.

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 Mehter Music Repertoire

MEHTER music has played a great role in the military successes of the Ottoman armies as far as the military music is concerned. Vigorous and dynamic MEHTER melodies were producing perfect effects on the morale of the soldiers. The regiment PE?REVs which have been excellent march music, BENEF?E-ZAR, ?ÜKUFE-ZAR like military compositions and CENG-Y HARBY style attack melodies were not existed in Europe then. MEHTERHANE repertoires, on the other hand, if all the times considered, were not military tunes alone. It is possible to analyze this issue in 8 categories:

2.Nevbet melodies
3.Cavalry music
4.Other military music
5.Ceremonial music
6.Characteristic music of Mehterhane
7.Highly artistic music works
8.Works of minstrels music

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 Forms of Mehter Music

In general, we know the forms of MEHTER music in the SAZ (instrument) works. In the SAZ works with two notes, SERHANE, MÜLAZYME, SERBENT, SERHANE, MULAZYMANE arrangement is seen; example to this is CENG-Y HARBY. In the SAZ works with three notes, the first type is: SER-HANE, II HANE (section) and III HANE and afterwards turn to MÜLAZYME at the end of each tour and at the last performance of MÜLAZYME, the final. In the second type of the SAZ works with three notes, ZEYYL section is added between the III.HANE in the first type and MÜLAZYME. In the third type of the SAZ works with three notes, this time, to the arrangement of the first type SER-BEND and SER-HANE are added between II. HANE and MÜLAZYME.

In the SAZ works with four notes, the first type, is produced: SER-HANE and I, II, III HANEs and the MÜLAZYME is conducted and the work reaches the final, but of these DE?Y?MELY (Changing) PE?REV type, each HANE is in different pattern and MÜLAZYME is in ÇENBER pattern. This first type has another from where HANEs are connected with MÜLAZYME directly. The second type is produced with the entering of ZEYYL section between the III.HANE of the first type and MÜLAZYME; and the third type is produced with the entering SERHANE between SER-BEND which replaces the IV.HANE of the first type and MÜLAZYME.

In the KARABATAK PE?REV (SEGAH), the first type with four HANEs, although HANEs are connected with MÜLAZYME directly, SER-HANE and HANE sections BATAK and CUMHUR by turns and the MÜLAZYME section have been produced in the form of CUMHUR.

In the KARABATAK PE?REV with Five HANEs, with ZURNA, SER-HANE and II to V HANEs, four different BATAK (solo) produces, in MÜLAZYME section, the CUMHUR SAZ form.

In summary, the Forms of MEHTER music can be analysed as follows:

1.Military Musical Forms: PE?REV-Y HARBY, SEMAY-Y HARBY, CENG-Y HARBY, Musical Military Signs. All of these musical forms are instrumental.

2.Other Musical Forms: PE?REVs, NAKI?s, MURABBAs, SEMAYs, ?ARKIs, TÜRKÜs, KALENDERYs, EZGYs, MANYs. Of these musical forms, PE?REVs are from SAZ music and the others from oral (SÖZ) music. YÜRÜK SEMAYs and HARBY SEMAYs are included in the SEMAYs.

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 Transfer of Mehter Music by Europe and its Worldwide Effects

From XIV th to XX century, Turkey was an inseperable part of the three continents (Asia, Europe and Africa). In Europe, the German frontier governors (markgrafs) had been trying to establish music units similar to the ones in Ottoman Turks which exercised military music since the XVI century. Such efforts spread to a number of European countries in the XVIII century as well. In this century, Prussian King Friedrich II, Saxony Ruler and Polish King Augustus II, daughter of Russian Czar Great Pedro, Elizabeth have taken great pains to establish a band suited for the Turkish example; the MEHTERHANE system. And sometimes Hungarian bands have been followed which had been set up on the Turkish practice.

As of the age of Crusaders, the transfer of the musical instruments from the Middle East and Anatolia towards Europe has increased in this century and transfer of a number of MEHTER musical instruments by Europe was completed. For instance, the following instruments have been transferred:

ZURNA: Hautbois (from KABA ZURNA), cor des Tures, Cornet des Tures, Török sip (in Hungary)

DAVUL: Turkish Tremmel, Tambour des Tures, Grosse caisse (from the word: Kös)

NAKKARE-TABILBAZ-KÖS: Timbal (from the word Dümbelek), Turkish Trumlein (a synonym for NAKKARE)

ZYL: Cymbals Turques

ÇEVGAN: Janitscharpspil (A Janissary instrument), Turkish Klookspel, Ksiezyc Turecki, Turkish Crescent, Crescent, Halbmond, Schellenbaum, Ganxmond, Halve Maan, Buncuk (In Russia)

In parallel to the inclusion of the Turkish musical instruments in the Western bands, in bands which we can call European MEHTERHANE to each of them, Turkish works of music were being performed or efforts were being made to compose HARBY PE?REV-like melodies and harmonised.

The Western classic composers and also those who have chosen romanticism after classism have started to compose by copying the Turkish MEHTERHANE or compose pieces by being inspired with it and produce works of music large in scope. For instance, some of the works attained fame as Turkish March since that time. To the start of such works at times, the term "ALLA TURCA" (Turkish style) was being put. When Bethooven planned to compose the 9th Symphony, he wrote down a note: "The symphony will include Turkish music and a chorus at the final." And Mozart, in a letter he has written to one of his friends, mentioned that he would use Turkish music in his Opera (Die Entführun Aus dem Serail).

In order to provide documentation for the continuation of this trend, we should remember that Timur and Beyazit Ballet (Tamerlane et Bajazet) which was produced by Rossini based on Bishop's music and put on the stage in London in 1806 and that it was in heroism type and that one of the battle scenes was represented by two different pieces with the headline of "Marche a la Turque". It is possible to present a list of famous European composers who have produced works of music with the influence of MEHTER music:

Mozart (175691), Haydn (1732-1809), Beethoven (1770-1827), Rossini (1792-1868), Bizet (1838-75), Mahler (1865-1911). We can make this list longer. In the exchange of this culture, the dynamism of Turkish military music has led the creation of eternal works with a very new emotion instilling the Western Music like 'water of life' and caused this music live by our age. If we look at our situation: at a time when the memories and effects of MEHTERHANE are very fresh and continuous, in the year of 1826, MEHTERHANE was abolished by II. Sultan Mahmut.

It is appropriate here to indicate shortly about the Turkish embassy delegations who have travelled to Middle Europe with MEHTERHANE units on horse that played important roles in the influence of Turkish music on Europe through MEHTERHANE. In the XVI th and XVII the centuries, a Turkish ambassador with MEHTER bands composed of some 60 mehters visited Vienna. One of these visits was realised by the Turkish ambassador KARA MEHMET PASHA who was sent to German Emperor I. Leopold, in 1665-66. KARA MEHMET PASHA had been granted with the rank of Rumelia Governor-General. The delegation of embassy arrived at the fronts of Vienna in the mids of June.

But the King (Casar) did not give permission to the ambassador to enter into the capital having his MEHTERHANE played and the flags opened. After the negotiations on this matter which have lasted many weeks, KARA MEHMET PASHA was able to convince them and thus entered into the castle as he had wished. This Turkish ambassador has gone anywhere in Vienna he wished, having his MEHTERHANE played for 9 months, everyday he hold his council and had NEVBET played and made the Viennese listen to this interesting music. Before he entered into the castle, the Pasha had taken notes himself about the previous situation; these notes have composed the so called Vienna Report.

In this Report, he wrote; their interpreter came: "He brought the massage when we approached by the castle, that TABILs and NAKAREs should stop their performance, ALEMs, SANCAKs and flags should be rolled up before entering the castle. And I said: "Our Sultan, our majestic and grand master, the refuge of all the people in our country has granted these TABL-Ü ALEM and SANCAKs to us the servants and they have been sent, trusting their friends. If we cannot enter in Ottoman fashion, how is it known that we have come here as friends?

Surely if you agree that we can enter in our own ceremony and basic principles that shall be very well, but in no other way is it possible for me to enter". That was may answer:

This subject was dealt with by EVLYYA ÇELEBY, one of the member of the delegation through different point of views in his book SEYAHATNAME (The Travels).

The Turkish music concerts that KARA MEHMET PASHA and other Turkish ambassadors made them listen in riding regiments and NEVBETs that they had organised to be beaten in Vienna everyday have not been as a memory alone. Vienna has come to be the center of reflecting this music to Europe and to the world. MEHTERHANEs of Turkish ambassadors visiting Vienna in XVII th and XVIII th centuries, have come to be great music events supporting this one after the other.

Georg Schreiber who has made studies on Southerneast European culture and history, wrote the following about the influence of MEHTERHANE on Europe:

"….. Janissaries have affected European military music as well, to a great extent. Their MEHTERHANE, not only accompanied the soldiers in the attack of battles but also visited Vienna, Paris, Krakov with embassy delegations, and at every place they arrived, produced strong effects.

It was Jan Sobyeski who as a model has first taken Turks MEHTER band and practiced it in his army. In 1741, Trenek (Franz Trenek 1711-49) made the pandour unit march with the tempo of Turkish music… Of course, the other Austrian regiments did not wish to stay behind him. Prussians and Russians followed these, and at the end, all of Europe has adopted this practice. If, still, military bands give concerts in squares, they do it because of they took this music as an example from the pandours and Janissaries although forgotten in our time.

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 3.b.ii) II.Period (From the year 1911 to 1935)
 Attempt To Set Up New MEHTERHANEs

Setting up new MEHTERHANEs has been realised by the state support again, after nearly one century. The first cultural movement was started by Celal Esat Bey (Arseven) (1911) and a MEHTER band was formed at the Military Museum by the name of MEHTERHANE-Y NAKAANY by the Director of the Military Museum in 1914.

A new MEHTERHANE repertory has been produced to replace the old, original but completely forgotten MEHTER pieces. It is significant to note that all the MEHTERHANE works of music developed in this period are of oral type and the 'march' headline is attached to them. But as far as the MAKAMs (tunes) are concerned, in this activity the tunes of Turkish music have been used. In the year 1917 (Rumi 1333) the Vice-Commander-in-chief and Minister of War, Enver Pasha was arranging the organisation of MEHTER bands in ORDU-YY HÜMAYUN (the imperial army) with the Instructions he had issued. The prerequisites of this organisation and extension have been drawn up. Unfortunately, results of the 1st World War against Turkey have prevented the activities of implementation.

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Upon a request originated from the Turkish Armed Forces in 1952, the Military Museum Mehterhane has been reorganised. Now, this MEHTERHANE is carrying out its activities in the name of MEHTERAN Company under the supervision of a band officer and the conducting of a head MEHTER, within the system of the Commander of Military Museum and Cultural Site at the Military Museum in Istanbul.

Although this MEHTERHANE has produced new accomplishments in the Republic era, it can be regarded as the continuation of MEHTERHANE-Y HAKAANY set up after the II nd Constitutional Period (MESRUTYYET). Therefore, those Turkish musicians who have been assigned to realise the formation of this new MEHTERHANE behaved to fulfill the same target. Among these were: MUALLYM ISMAYL HAKKI BEY, HOCA KAZIM BEY (UZ), EYYUBY ALY RIZA BEY (SENGEL), ?EYH RIZA EFENDY and other musicians that we cannot remember, have both contributed to the activities of MEHTERHANE and played significant roles in the establishment of a new repertory. In addition to the new MEHTER marches, some frontier pieces of music have been included in the repertory which was the thing done just right. The following head MEHTERs undertook efficient work in the setting up and activities of the MEHTERHANE in the MEHTERAN Company re-established in 1952: HASAN TAHSYN PARSADAN, CEMAL CÜMBÜ?, AHMET ?EN. Within the last 10 years, CAHYT ATASOY who has composed a number of Turkish MEHTER marches is producing outstanding works. The instrument cadre for the MEHTERHANE has been planned to be 6 fold. Since one of the fundamental instruments of the classic MEHTERHANE, the BORU has completely disappeared, the trumpet replaced it. There are KABA ZURNA (six of each), trumpet (six of each), DAVUL (six of each), NAKKARE and ZYL (six of each). One KÖS and nine or more CEVGANYs should be added into this cadre. CEVGANYs act as signers in the oral pieces.

The Military Museum MEHTERHANE exercises two NEVBETs 5 days a week and participates in ceremonies in the official holidays. The Military Museum MEHTERAN Company with its rooted and valuable traditions is a community which has both a national and an international fame. For this reason, it is invited to the Military Music Festivities and national days of the friend states or cultural activities. In a period which has just exceeded a quarter century, such 28 visits have been made to England, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Italy, Algeria, France, Spain, Japan, Austria, Cyprus and Pakistan, where it has undertaken musical programmes.

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 4) Musics of Scenic Plays (Turkish scenic music)

 4.a) Professions of Rakkas and Rakkase (Çengis, Köçeks, Curcunabazs)

Köçek, Çengi and Curcunabaz have had a special place in our old scenic plays. Like ballet, they were scenic dancing performances of the dramatic kinds and they bore a great deal of artistic values in the old times. They, by the passage of time, got detonated and finally, vanished away.

They have different names such as Çengi, Köçek, Rakkas, Tavþan, Kösebaz, Curcunabaz, Çenganebaz, Çarparezen etc.

In the older periods, all the dances were called Çengi disregarding their sex. In fact, çengi is the name of the player who played the musical instrument, çeng, but this term is also refered to "a dancer".

Later, only the girl dancers were called Çengi and the male ones Köçek, Tavþans were those who danced in a different way cladding form.

A çengi team was composed of a Kolbaþý (head of troop), an assistant Kolbaþý and a dozen of dancers. A group of instrument players were also there with one violin player one çifte nara (rakkase) player, two tambourine players and this group was called "Sýracý". Kolbaþý was the master and everything of this musical groups. The young girls who want to be a çengi and the young çengis who wanted to developed their skills, all took music and dancing lessons in the privier home of Kolbaþý

Kolbaþý and his assistant, when invited at the wedding ceremonies, wore veils on their face and yellow boots on their feet and carried a fan in their hands, Çengis wore a jolly mixture of colourful cloaks (dustcoats). They walked in order. For instance; Kolbaþý and his assistant first and then the others, Çengis, Siracilar, Yardakçylar, Hademeler and a little Çerkes girl who was supposed to be the private servant of the Kolbaþý

They were allocated a room at the home where they were invited to perform their dancing's. No one was permitted to this room except the çengi team members and Hamam ustalary and Soyguncu whose jobs were to prepare the dancers to perform.

Boy dancers who performed like çengis were called Rakkas or Köçek. Köçeks danced in female costumes. The young and handsome men were trained in music schools or in private home of renowned köçeks. They were taught music and dancing. Some major figures of their dancing performance were to tremble shoulders, sway hips, tip heels and walk swiftly up and down on toes.

Rakkaslar were divided into two: Köçekler and Tavþan oðlanlarý. Köçekler, while dancing, wore velvet clothes with silver embroidery on them, fine taffeta, brocade, shirts and a silver or gold embroidered belt. They wore nothing on their head and they had long hair.

Köçeks played the cymbals which were fitted to their fingers during the dancing performance. Tavþan oðlanlarý, wore a black þalvar down to their heels and rapped bright coloured shawl round their bellies. On their heads were tiny colourful conical hats. Their dancing's included figures such as screwing up the body, belly dancing, bending backwards and dropping long hair on the floor etc. They stimulated the spectators with their charm when they danced slowly and lastly in the center platform and displayed coquettish airs all over.

Rakkaslar, Köçekler, Tavþan Oðlanlarý not only danced at the public places, coffee houses and pubs but also at the private gatherings. Most of them were known with their nick names. Some of there nicknames such as Zalim Þah, Fitne Þah, Nazly Þah, Can Þah, Küpeli Ayvaz Þah, Büyük Afet, Küçük Afet belonged to Greeks, Jews, Armenians and Gypsies.

Enderunlu Fazyl wrote a "Çenginame" in which he told about the famous Köçeks of his time. The guatrain of Nedim runs as follows:

Rakkas, bu halet senin oyununda mýdýr
Aþýklarýnýn günahý boynunda mýdýr
Doymadym þeb-i vaslyna þeb-i ruze gibi
Ey sim beden, sabah koynunda mýdýr.

The profession of being a Köçek was banned in 1274 (1857) with a law.

Curcunabazlar were rough dancers who wore comic clothes and impersonified people. They, often, displayed clumsy acts and imitated the other dancers and thus, made the audience laugh.

They wore masques on their faces which were known as "Yüzlük", some of Curcunabazlar was called "Cin Askeri".

In most cases, dancing and laughter were performed in an assimilated manner. Sometimes, a subject like dance or a ballet was realised in company of a laughter and dancing.

Names of number of repercussion instruments which were used during dancing, went a long with the personalities of those who actually played them during the process of dancing. For instance, those who played "Çarpare", a small wooden instrument played by striking, were called "Çarparazen"; those who played "Çegane", a pair of cymbal thongs, were called "Çeganebaz"; and similarly, those who rotated the china plates on top of sticks and danced at the same time, were called "Kasebaz".

In the old reference books, especially in Sürnameler, all these dancers were defined separately and were painted on the miniatures.

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 4.b) Dancing Music

All types of music aimed at dancing in the Turkish music is, generally, categorised as "dancing music". However there are specially composed music forms for the dance of Çengis and Köçeks and they are known as "Tavþanca", "Çiftetelli", "Aðýrlama" etc.

A collection of songs in the same modal form with jolly happy instrumental ritornellos is called "Takým".

There are Takyms which include the songs the composers of which are either known or unknown and songs which are composed by the significant musicians.

We know that Hamamizade Ysmail Dede called these kinds of music form as "Musikinin Orostopolluðu-The dirty trick of the music" and he himself composed fabulous Köçekces in fact.

These Köçekces are composed in popular modal systems Like Karcigar, Gerdaniye, Hicaz, Hüzzam, Gülizar, Bayati araban and even in Saba.

These Köçekçe songs, composed in the rhythmic form of Aksak, are both beautiful in style and poetic in Words.

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 4.c) The Karagöz Music


Karagöz is a Turkish shadow shown with 20-30 cm. long painted animal hides fixed on sticks, the shadows of which are reflected on the screen in company of witty words, jokes, imitation and music related to it.

The Karagöz Music:

Music constitutes an important place in the Karagöz Shadow Show.

Commencement, ending and intervals are marked with a certain type of music as well as the characters appearing on the screen at a time. Vocal patterns such as Beste, Aðýr Semai, Yürük Semai, þarky, Türkü, Köçekçe and the instrumental patterns, such as Peþrev, Saz Semaisi, Oyunhavasy are used in the karagöz music.

In some Karagöz music, western forms like Waltz, Polka Song etc. are used when needed. Anyhow, Turkish music is the last form of music to suit the Karagöz music. The songs used in the Karagöz music are those whose composers are sometimes known and sometimes not.

Some think that these songs are composed directly with the aim of using them in the Karagöz music and the others believe that these songs are composed under different captions. Nevertheless, these songs are literally assimilated with the karagöz music.

Most of the songs of the karagöz music go as back as the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Even older ones are available too. It is clear that the Karagöz music has renovated itself and suited itself to the recessives of the time. The musical instruments in the Karagöz play can be categorised as; those seen on the screen and those behind the screen and not seen by the spectators.

Instruments seen on the screen are very popular amongst the people. Karagöz often plays drums and zurna. Similarly Hacivat plays the tambourine, Laz the kemençe, Çelebi the darbuka, few the tambourine and karagöz the tulum again.

The most important musical instrument behind the screen is the tambourine, it is a very important instrument for Karagöz. "Nareke" is another instrument, in the shape of a reed flute which is also performed by Karagöz.

The other musical instruments used behind the screen are; Kemençe, Violin, Lute, Kanun, Zurna, Clarinet, Baðlama, Cymbals, Zilli Maþa, Nakkare, Drums etc. some of these are performed by the musicians themselves the others by Yardaks (assistant musicians).

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 4.d) Music in the Orta Oyunu

Orta Oyunu:

Orta oyunu is lively performed by the actors. This makes the main difference between an Orta Oyunu and Karagöz.

Not much is known about Orta Oyunu as where, how and how have originated it. Some believe that these have been off-shotted from Karagöz and the others claim that these have emerged through the developed forms of "Kol Oyunlary".

As a matter of fact, there are many similarities between Karagöz and Orta Oyunu. Karagöz and Hacivat are replaced by Kavuklu and Piþekar in orta oyunu. As in Karagöz Shadow Show, the other figures are Zenne, Çelebi, Külhanbeyi, and the Anatolian and Thracian music is played. .

Orta oyunu is performed at a small central place encircled by the spectators. The stage and the spectators are separated by ropes and banisters. Woman spectators sat at a compartment called Kafes and men at "Mevkii". There were store rooms behind the spectators. Actors changed clothes there and entered "Meydan", the stage, through a "Kapy", a corridor. In the very left of this entrance was the orchestra.

Slightly further from them was a table-like place, "Dükkan", one yard high and across from that Dükkan was another place two yards high which was called "Yeni Dünya-The News World" used for the purpose of decauer.

For a comfortable viewing of the play, the spectators in the front row sat on their knees, those behind them sat on chairs and those at back watched the play standing.

Orta Oyunu was performed not only in the open but also indoor places like the courtyards of inns.

Music and Raks in Orta Oyunu

It is know throughout history that comedy, music and dance are assimilated in Orta Oyunu began with the musical concert shows that included "Ynce Saz" and "Köçekçeler" and with Dancing show that included the dances of "Köçek", "Çengi" and "Curcunabaz".

In the later periods, Orta Oyunu began with "Piþekar Havasy" which was performed by a small concert group that included Çifte Nakkare, Drums and Zurna.

The number of songs performed here are too few. The tunes played in the end of Orta Oyunu are of the kind to express heroism of the past century.

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 4.e) Kanto (Canto)

Canto which means "Songs" in Italian, is the kind of songs performed at the Tuluat Theaters (Popular theatre where the actors improvised) in the 19th century.

Cantos became very popular in the last quarter of the 19th century and first quarter of the 20th century and became forgotten for some time and, finally, regained its popularity at our present time.

Cantos were performed (sung) by ladies in the low-cut dresses with a certain gesture, mimics and dance at the Tuluat and Canto Theatre-Hauses. "Düetto" was another kind in which man and lady canto singers reciprocated songs.

Italian style of music which became popular after Tanzimat (the political reforms of Abdülmejid in 1839 and the period following) had the impact for the emergence and the evolution of this type of music.

Cantos are songs which are light, debauchee and sometimes even obscene by structure and free-versed and fantasy by form. Most of the cantos are the personal properties of the women singers themselves and the properties of some unknown composers. Cantos are usually performed in measurements 9 by 8 and sometimes measurements 2 and 7 are also practiced.

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 4.f) Operette

Operette which means "Small Opera" in French, is a theater music that included conversations and dancing through comic subjects.

Throughout the 19th century, the interest shown to the foreign and especially the Italian opera and operette troupes in Turkey, has encouraged the Turkish and Minority composers to compose operettes with the Turkish music.

Dikran Çuhacyyan and Radeglia who was born in Istanbul in 1863, have composed some operates with a simple Turkish music polyphony. "Leblebici Horhor Aða" operate of Cuhacyyan is quite famous.

Similarly, Ali Bey's (1844-1899) "Letafet" operate which was staged in 1897 and Haydar Bey's (1846-1904) "Pembe Kyz", "Çengi", "Binbirdirek" and "Allak Kyz" operates have been profoundly admired by the then spectators.

Following them, Ysmail Hakky Bey (1866-1927) composed operates on the basis of the rules of the Turkish music, founded a troop under the name of "Istanbul Operette", get his works performed through this troop and turned the operate orchestra into an "Ynce Saz".

He achieved great success in turning Musahipzade Celal's some plays into operette forms. His famous operettes are "Yedekçi" and "Kaþýkçýlar". Musahipzade's "Lale Devri" play was made an operette by Dr. Suphi Ezgi in 1916 and likely, the same author's "Atly Ases" play was made an operate by Fahri Kopuz in 1923 and finally, Musahipzade's play "Istanbul Efendisi" was made an operette by Leon Hancyyan.

Muhlis Sabahattin Ezgi (1889-1947) carried this tradition successfully and composed some 23 operettes between 1916-1942. His famous operettes are "Çare Saz", "Gül Fatma" and "Ayþe".

After 1930's, operettes, the texts of which were written by Ekrem Reþit Bey and were composed by Cemal Reþit Bey (1904-) were quite popular. "Deli Dolu" and particularly, "Lüküs Hayat" are the distinctive ones in which western music forms have had great weight.

Operates which have become less famous during World II, were replaced by some other musical plays, "revues".

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 5) Turkish Classical Music Instruments

NOTE: Some western type of musical instruments are also practiced in the Turkish music, like Violin, Clarinet, Viola, Violencello, Contrabass, Piano and Accordion.

 5.a) String Instruments:

5.a.i) Plectrum instruments: (Lute, Tambur, Lavta)


Lute is the only instrument in the Turkish music that has no frets on the handle. It has been practiced among the western and Eastern countries for about 3000 years. Various mitologies have been narrated in connection with the birth of lute.

Many books have been written about lute which attracted the interest of many musicians since the 7th century.

Lute which was played in the Central Asia, old Egypt, China, Mezopotamia, Iran, Arabia and finally, in Anatolia was in the shape of a pear with silk wound strings on the fretted handle up to the 9th century but in the later periods, frets were removed.

Farabi, a Turkish Theorist, gave us the most perfect date about lute. Up to his time, there were only 4 strings on lute.

If we suppose that the lowest string is tuned to Yegah RE (La in the western music) then, the system of sounds on frets was being inadequate. Therefore, Farabi added the fifth string on the lute to eliminate this inconvenience. In the later periods, the sixth one was also added. This produces the lowest sound and it is fitted to the uppermost.

Lute which was transferred to Spain by the Arabs, was greatly admired by the elite of Europe and England between the 13th and the 18th centuries under the name of LUTH (AL-OUD) and it has been played with much pleasure.

What is different between a LUTH and an UD is that the handle of the LUTH is longer and it is played with fingers.

Although lute was popular among the Ottomans in the 17th century, it did not surpass the superiority of Ney-Tambur combination which were the instruments of religion and the place until the 19th century, a period known to be the climax of the classical music.

It is noticed that lute regained its popularity towards the 19th century when it began to be played in group concern together with Sine-Keman, kemençe, lavta and tambourine.

Lute has got a half-pear shape, a short handle and rings on it which can be tuned to as high as to six octane.

The body of lute is made by bringing together the slicer fine woods (like the watermelon slices) which are obtained from valuable trees such as Walnut, plum, plane-tree, juniper mahogany, balsam-tree and rosewood.

The front table is made of a ladin-tree (white-pine) which has got three round latticework, one big and two small. There are lutes also with one latticework.

The latticework are cut from trees, bones, ivories, animal horns and mother-of-pearls. There is also a bridge on the front table where strings are tied up. The bridge is made of walnut, horn beam, balsam-trees and stuck to the panel with a strong glue.

Under the front table were the supporting narrow stripes of ladin wood to avoid any possible collapse. The middle part of the handle is made of a tekne wood again in thin slices. The part of the handle where fingers are applied on, is made of resistible trees such as abanese and balsam-tree.

An ivory or bone-made bridge is stuck to the top of handle and strings are tightened on pegs going over this bridge. The uppermost string (the 6th) is a single one and the others go in double. (pairs)

The lute strings are tuned to the following notes (Sounds):

According to the Turkish music According to the Western music
1.String SOL RE
2.String RE LA (220 frequency)
3.String LA MI
4.String MI SI
5.String SI FA (Sharp)
6.String FA (Sharp) DO (Sharp)

Lute is tuned according to the key SOL in the Turkish Music.

In fact, the sounds produced are lower by one octave. Lute has a sound range of 3,5 octaves and 54 kg. force tension on its total strings. In the early periods, it was played by plectrums which were made of eagle-wings but today they are made of plastic. Lute is played on the lap and the handle should be held parallel to the floor.

Lute players are called UDI. There are some differences in making and quality between the Turkish and the Arabian lutes except the tonal and dimensional differences as well. The best lutes were and still are being made by the Turkish artists.

Length of strings of the Turkish lutes are 57-58,5 cm. and length of handles are 19-19,5 cm.s, Their length of body is 48-50 cm.s with of body is 36-37 cm.s. and the depth of body is 18-18,5 cm.s

Length of strings of the Arabian lutes are 60-63 cm. and length of handles are 20-21 cm. Their length of body is 52-54 cm. with of body is 36-38 cm. and the depth of body is 20-22 cm.

Many renowned personalities have played lute in past centuries. For instance, some book mention that prophet acquired the popular union simple by playing his lute.

In the Turkish Music, there are many musicians who played lute skilfully such as Nevres, Serif Içli and Serif Muhiddin Targan and, young musicians of today are quite enthusiastic to play this delightful instrument.

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It is one of the important plectrum instruments of the Turkish music. It is in a half apple shape and has a fairly long handle. The body of tanbur is made of slices of fine woods. The woods are obtained from hard and valuable trees such as plum, mulberry, walnut, balsam-tree, rosewood, paoros, palük, vengi rebing makase, teak, juniper and abanese trees.

The front table is made of a white pine-tree and on the handle are catgut or gut wound frets. A two-octave sound range is divided among some 50 frets. Tanbur has got a 3 octave sound range. In same tanburs this can be increased to 4 as well. Sound range is expanded from Kaba Yegah to high Neva (from 110 frequency to 1760 frequency).

There are 7 steel and brass made strings on tanbur. Its plectrum is made of a turtois bone, Baga. It is also played with a bow. The strings are in four groups. The first, second and the third from the bottom are in pairs but the uppermost string is stretched single.

The first strings are tuned to 200 frequency Yegah sound (LA in the western music). second ones are to 146 frequency Kaba Rast (RE in the western music) or 164 frequency Yegah and finally, fourth string is tuned to 110 frequency Kaba Yegah (LA in the western music). There is a 78,5 force tension on the 7 strings of tanbur.

Turks, after migrating from the Central Asia, have settled in Asia, Europe and Africa and have disseminated their civilisations there. Therefore, tanbur came to be known with different names. For instance; Sumerians who have settled in Mezopotamia in 4000 B.C. and considered to be a Turkish branch of Ural-Altay communities by language and some traditions which have migrated from the Central Asia, have called this musical instrument with the name of PANTUR. In Sumerian Language PAN meant "bow" and TUR meant "small". Therefore, it means a "small bow" in the Sumerian language. Gürcüler who were close to the Sumerians have also called Pantur.

Even to-day, Kirgizlar and Kalmuklar by the Casbean Sea play the tribal two-string TANBUR.

According to Burhan-I Kati Dictionary (Persian-Turkish Dictionary), tanbur means the chest of a dove. It is the basis instrument of our classical music with its mystic sound. Tanburi Cemil Bey was a musician who played tanbur with a profound skill.

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It is transferred to the West by the Arabs after the conquest of Spain. As for the western musicologists, French version of LUTH comes from an Arabic word EL-UD. Many kinds of Lavta can be seen in today's Europe.

The early forms of Lavta have been traced in Sumerians, old Egypt, Assyrians and Babillians. Lavta which was developed by Arabs in the 11th Century, was carried to Europe through Endülüs in the 15th century and eventually, it lived its golden epoch in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was played both by a folk poet and also by some important personalities too.

While Western Lavtas have 6 to 24 strings on them, the Turkish ones, like in Tanbur, have 3 pairs and one single strings (Totally 7 strings). It resembles Lute and it is made exactly with the same materials used in Lute production.

The slight difference from the lute is that it has a narrower body, a longer handle with frets like in tanbur. It has got the structural characteristic lute. The strings are catgut and silk wound and tuned like Alto key forms.

1st String to LA
2nd String to RE
3rd String to SOL
4th String to DO

It was played with a special plectrum like that of the lute. Lavta which was long forgetten, is becoming rather popular recently. It was played by great musicians like Tanburi Cemil Bey. Lavta has a 2, 5-3 Octave sound range.

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 5.a.ii) Bow instruments: (Yayli Tanbur, Classic Kemençe)

 Yayli Tanbur

Tanbur was, for the first time, played with bow by Cemil Bey and his "taksims" on phonograph's have aroused great interest among people. Tanbur is placed in between two knees and played in upright position with a bow. It produces a hoarse and a mystic sound.

Although it is noted that this was first time played with bow by Cemil Bey, there are references by Abdülkadir Meragi of the 15th century that this practice, was there in early times too.

 Classical Kemençe

It was marked earlier that the musical instrument played by Turks in the Central Asia was called Iklig (Oklug). After Islam was adopted by the Turks, the Turkish language was influenced, from a religious and poetic viewpoint, by the impact of the Arab and Persian Cultures and ultimately, the word Iklig replaced by on Arabic word "Rebab", a Persian word "Keman" and "Kemençe".

The word Keman was introduced by the Persians and produced from a verb "Hemiden" that means to "bend". Kemençe means a "Small Keman-Small Violin" in Persian. It is the developed form of Iklig.

Kemençe which was practiced by the Turks who have settled from the North down to the River Danube and Balkans, has also become quite popular in countries such as Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, Romania, Poland and Hungary.

Documents with us prove that Keman (Violin) is the developed form of Kemençe which was popular enough in Europe in the 15. Century. Further, LAVIGNAC points that violin descends from the Turkish Kemençe-i Guz (Oguz Kemençesi) Page: 156. Kemençe took even other names in the recent years. Kemençe was used in the performances of Tavsanca, Köçekce and group concerts (Fasils). It was called Fasil Kemençesi and Armudi Kemençe since its body looked like a half pear shape. The body of the classical Kemençe is made of walnut, malburry, plum, juniper, rosewood, balsam-trees and the front table is made of a cypress tree. It has a short handle, longish pegs and three strings on it. The strings are catgut and steel wound. It is tuned to the Turkish music form RE-SOL-RE (LA-RE-LA in the western music).

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 5.a.iii) String-repercussion instruments: (Santur, Kanun)


It is in isosceles triangle shape and played by a pair of mallets striking them on silk thread wound strings. It is known as Çembalo and Simbal in various European countries. Santur is assumed to be one of the early samples of Kanun which was highly appreciated by Turks.

It was widely practiced in Anatolian. Santuri (Santur player) Ziya Bey who wrote the methodic system of santur, has mentioned in his works that because of the old santur is, the instrument became less and less important. As for him, the old santur players have resisted to tune it to the lower sound than that of Mansur (Melody in the key of A) and Sah.

In fact, since it was quite difficult for the singers to sing from such a high pitch, santur became an an important musical instrument and replaced by lute and kanun which were more convenient for the low tunings.

This may not, however, be the only reason for its becoming unpopular. There are two types of santurs. One is Hamali Santur which was played 40-50 years ago in Istanbul and is being played in some parts of today's Turkey; second is the technically developed santur which was played by Hilmi Bey of Royal Orchestra, his student Ismet Bey and Ethem Efendi some 50-55 years ago.

While in old santurs 32 sounds were produced on 32 frets and 160 strings, in the developed santurs 28 sounds were produced on 19 frets and 95 strings.

The size of a santur is proportinal with the size of the front table. Different santure should be practiced for low and high tunings. For low tuning, the length of the lower part of the front table should not be more than 85 cm. and the length of the upper part of the front table should not be less than 55 cm. The length of the lower part of the front table to be fixed on a small santur for high tunings can be reduced from 80 cm. to 65 cm. Santur has got a sound range of 3 octaves between Kaba Rast and Tiz Acem.

Old santur players stroke the mallets on the strings plainly. Only Santuri Ethem Efendi used felt-pointed mallets. These produced softer melodies (sounds) than the plain wooden mallets.

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 Kanun (Zither-Like Musical Instrument)

It is understood that the word Kanun is introduced into Turkish from the Arabic word "Kanun". Although the origin of Kanun could not be ascertained, there are historical documents which depict that early models of this instrument were used by the Sumerians and Egyptians.

An instrument called Çeng is said to have been played at the same time with Kanun and this instrument was not practiced after the 18th century.

It is also reported that not much known as who has given the first physical shape to this instrument, Kanun.

Some claimed that Kanun was first invented by a Turkish scientist Farabi and others defended that this was Horasanli Ibni Hallegan. It is difficult to assume that it was Farabi who has first invented Kanun. It can only be thought that he might have made some modifications on the structure of Kanun only. Because, it is proved by the historical documents that most of the musical instruments that we play today go as back as the those of the Sumerians.

Some primary information about Kanun can be found in the Encyclopedic work of Ahmet oglu Sükrüllah. In the work of Sükrullah who lived in the 15th century, there are interesting remarks on how Çalav, a Turkish musical instrument, was made and played.

He categorised the instruments as "Kamil sazlar" and "Eksik sazlar" and he defined kanun in "Eksik Sazlar" group and informed about the forms, dimensions and string order of Kanun.

After reading those lines, we note that there is not much difference between the then Kanun and the one of Today.

Since author made no mention of animal's hide, it can be thought that the hide below the bridge was later added just like the pegs. Since Kanun which was widely, played by the Turks in the 14th and 15th centuries had no pegs and could not produce all the sounds of the Turkish music, it became almost forgetten in the beginning of the 18th century.

It was revitalised by Kanuni Ömer Efendi towards the end of the 19th century. This trend was later progressed by Kanuni Haci Arif Bey. One most not confuse Haci Arif Bey (1862-1911) who played kanun without pegs, with the composer Haci Arif Bey (1831-1885).

He was, then, followed by Ama Nazim Bey, Sari Talat Bey, Ali Bey and Tahsin Bey. Though Kanuni Haci Arif Bey played Kanun without pegs, we learn from his statements that there were Kanun with pegs as well.

Although it is not known as who has, for the first time, fitted pegs on the Kanun, it is only a guess that Kanuni Ömer Efendi might have done it himself. It is in trapezoid with one right angle shape, 95-100 cm. long, 38-40 cm. wide and 5-6 cms. deep. The table is made of a plane-tree and on it are lettuce work of the same tree or the mother-of-pearls. The sides are made of white pine and horn-beam trees and decorated. The back of the instrument is ideally made of the lindane tree.

Fine animal's hide is stretched tightly on the front table which is divided by four compartments (12x40 cm). And in the very center of hide, a bridge is fitted vertically the top of which is 1,5 mm. bottom 10 mm. and height 3 cm.

The bridge is made of a Kelebek tree or a horn beam tree. Strings are tightened by means of pegs after coming from the bottom of the instrument where they are tied up and passed over the bridge.

About 200 metal pegs are fitted on the pegging table which serve as frets and these are, generally, made of silver alpaca and brass. The pegs should adequately be levelled and polished, otherwise, they, at a short time, may wear and cut the strings. Catgut strings were replaced by nylon ones nowadays. 72 to 75 strings are fitted on Kanun. Thickness of strings range from 0,60 mm. high tone as low as to 1.20 mm. in low tone.

Roughly a 441 kg. force tension is loaded on the total 75 strings of Kanun. Because of this tension, strings create a pressure of 13,5 kg. on the hide by way of bridges. This pressure, however, is not on the total surface but it is local. There happens no pressure on the sides though.

Kanun which is placed on the knees, is played by means plectrums, "Baga", made of sea-turtoise bone fitted to the special thimbles worn on the fore-finger tips of both the hands. The one who plays Kanun is called a "Kanuni". There is a sound range of 3,5 octave on Kanun. The highest pitch is SOL (RE) 1173,37 frequency.

Kanun is widely practiced and a very popular instrument of the Turkish Music. It produces sounds like that of an Harp. Even the fastest melodies can be played with this typically Turkish Musical instrument.

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 5.b) Wind Instruments: (Ney, Nefir)

 Ney (A Reed-Flute)

The word Ney, after it was used as NA in the Sumerian language, became HAY in Persian which meant "the reed".

Eventually, it came to be spelt as Ney in Turkish. Ney which dates as back as 3000 B.C. is now preserved in the Philadelphia University as a "Sumerian flute".

After the adoption of Islam by the Turks, Ney became popular especially in the religious music. Mevlana, the great philosopher of Islam, demonstrated the importance when he attributed to Ney in his "MESNEVI" by saying "Hear what Ney whispers…."

Ney is a wind instrument made of a hollow reed. Its mouthpiece is called "Baspare" and it is made of an animal's horn. There are 7 holes on Ney, 6 on the upper part and one on the lower.

In order to get the Ney properly tuned, the nodes on the reed must be quite proportional. Since very few reeds have this particularity, it is hard to find an acceptable one and therefore, Neys are rather expensive musical instruments.

3 octave sound can be obtained from Ney by way of modifying the blowing strength. They are in different tuning orders as to their lengths, and diameters. Thus, they are known with different names relatively.

Their names range from high pitch to low as follows:

Mansur Nisfiye, Sah Ma'beyn, Sah Nisfiye, Davut Nisfiye, Bolahenk Ma'beyn, Bolahenk Nisfiye, Süpürde Ma'beyn, Süpürdü Nisfiye, Müstahzen Nisfiye, Yildiz Ma'beyn, Kiz neyi, Mansur Ma'beyn, Mansur, Sah Ma'beyn, Sah, Davut Bolahenk Ma'beyn, Bolahenk.

It is called a NISFIYE when each ney is made one octave on high-pitch. The lower they go by sound, the longer they became and therefore, it becomes difficult for a player to perform it. To avoid this inconvenience, one octave high pitch Neys are made which are half the length of the previous ones. These are called Nisfiye which means the "Half Ney".

There are also neys with half note differences with each other and these are called "MA'BEYN". Ney Player is generally called a "NEYZEN" and called a "NAYI". Blowing Nay is a more common term rather than playing Ney. Another Turkish musical instrument which is almost being forgotten, is a Girift. It is relatively shorter than Ney and made of a 6 node reed. While Ney has got a nodes and 7 holes, Girift has got 8 holes. There is a 2 octave sound range between Kaba Rast (SOL) and Gerdaniye (SOL). It did not become popular among musicians for it was rather difficult to play it. Girifteen Asim Bey was the master of this instrument.

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It was another wind instrument which was not practiced for two centuries in the Turkish Music. As mentioned by Abdülkadir Meragi in his work Gamiul-Elhan, it was the longest of all wind instruments. Even longer ones were called "Burgu". "Kürenay" were those the ends of which were curved.

It was made of a simple metal pipe that had no holes at all. It was difficult to play it and practiced only in the Military Bands for alarm purposes.

They were made of brass in the Ottoman Turks. There were also the kinds which were made of a buffalo horn. According to Abdülkadir, the length of those which were made of brass was 1,68 cms.

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 5.c) Repercussion Instruments:

5.c.i) Hide beating instruments: (Kudüm, Bendir, Kös)

 Kudüm (A Small Double Drum)

In Arabic, it means "to come from for distances and to step on a place". It is one the most important repercussion instruments of the Turkish religious and classical music. They are always used in pairs and made of two copper bowls the top of which are stretched tightly with camel skin.

The drum on the right side is called "Düm" (strong beat) and the one on the left is called "Tek" (light beat)

In the Mehter Music, those which were smaller than Kudüm were called "Nakkare" and the larger ones were called "kös".

Mevlevis called it "KUDÜM-I SERIF" since it was considered a holy instrument and played it during their religious ceremonies. Kudüms are played by Kudükzens. They are either played by a pair of sticks or simply by hands.

In Mevlevi, religious services, SEMAZENLER keep in step with the beats of Kudüs. These beats may. however, be "velveleli" and "velvelesiz" (Subdividing the beats of a rhythmic pattern to make a more complex pattern).

Generally, the drum "Düm" is tuned to key SOL or LA and the other one is to a softer tonep. Kudüm is made of a pair of copper bowl drums. One is larger and the other is smaller. The diameter of the larger one is 32,5 cms. and the diameter of the smaller one is 30 cms. Their depths are half of their diameters. The camel skins on them are as thin (fine) as 1,5-2 mm.

After the wetting process of the skins, they are tightly stretched on kudüms-with catgut's and strings. To diminish the metallic sound of Kudüm, felts are put in them and outside is rapped with an animal's hide.

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Though it resembles Def (Tambourine) by shape, it is larger than def (40-50 cm.s in diameter) and there are no bells around the hoop contrary to def.

A fine animal's hide is stretched on one side of the hoop. A catgut is also stretched across the hoop to be right under the hide. Therefore, this catgut produces a sizzling sound that mixes nicely with the singing of the vocalists.

In some Bendirs there are chains in place of a catgut string and in some, there is neither of them. The ones which are smaller than bendir are called "Def" and those Defs which are with cymbals are called "Zilli Def". Bendirs are known as Mazhars at the same time.

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 Kös (Kus)

It is the largest repercussion instrument in the Turkish music. It was used in the military bands and in Mehterhane-i Hakani. Therefore, it is known as "Kus-i Hakani", and the player is called "Kusi" and Kuszen in Persian and Kösçü in Turkish.

It resembles Kudüm but is larger than that. Like in Kudüm, they are made of large copper bowls in half egg shape with thick camel hides stretched on them. It is the forefather of timbals which are being used by the western countries. Kös are a pair of drums diameters of which vary between 90 and 150 cms.

They are placed on either sides of animals such as horses, camels and elephants, Kös player also rides on the same animal and he beats the drums rhythmically, with a pair of mallets while riding.

An elephant Kös of Suleiman the Magnificent which he used during the conquest of Zigetvar in 1556, is preserved in the Military Museum and is in 1,30 cms diameter and 1,27 cms hight.

The smallest Kös are those which are loaded on horses and mules. Kös for camels are larger and those which are deliberately made for elephants are the largest.

They, with their impressive sight and roaring sounds, have raised the morale of the Ottoman Armies in the past centuries.

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5.c.ii) Strike Instruments: (Zil-Halile)

 Halile (Cymbals)

They resemble those practiced in Europe and are 30 cm.s in diameter. They go in pair and are played by striking them together oppositely with each other. Halile is practiced only in the religious Turkish Music.

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