Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.6
Inventor: Süleyman Suat Sezgin.
Region: Middle East.
Description: The ahenk is a fretless stringed instrument from Turkey, invented by Süleyman Suat Sezgin in 1929. It was designed to be played like the oud. The instrument is similar to a banjo; like the banjo it uses has a reflector bowl as a resonator. Unlike the Cumbus, another Turkish “banjo” invented in the early 20th century, the instrument has nearly disappeared. There is a renewed interest in the instrument, which is being built in Istanbul and in Eskişehir [where it was invented].
Construction: The body of the ahenk is constructed by way of staves similar to an oud although more round in shape. The front resembles a banjo, with a bridge between the strings and animal skin membrane. The neck is longer than an oud in length, similar to that of the much later invented cumbus. The strings are arranged in the same manner as the oud, although this instrument and an identical oudola strung using modern machine gear, guitar tuners.