Saz who?

Cheap pun, I know. Following from my recent demo of an ‘interesting instrument’, the tongue drum, here’s another that I’ve literally dusted off recently, the bağlama saz (pronounced similar to ‘balama’). I got it in Turkey many years ago and like some other instruments that have sat unused in my room for years I decided to sell it on, then, after tinkering around and enjoying the sound, decided to keep it. In the video I explain why I’m returning to it after so long.

It has three sets or courses of strings. The way I’ve tuned mine we have a bottom pair, tuned to two octaves of A, a middle pair tuned identically to G, and a top set of three tuned identically to D. Like with the tongue drum I found a wealth of resources online showing it played well, and a few instances of people demonstrating some ideas of how to play it.

Here’s the tutorial where I learned the Hijaz scale I used in my video.

And finally, here’s what it sounds like in the hands of an expert, a Turkish woman called Yudum.

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