Baǧlama

Name: Bağlama.
Type: Chordophones > Composites > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.6
Area: Anatolia.
Country: Turkey.
Region: Mediterranean & Middle East.

Description: Baglama are Turkish long necked lutes of the Tanbur family. it synthesis is a direct lineage from historical musical instruments once played in Central Asia and Turkish Anatolia. It is partly descended from the Turkic Komuz. The kopuz or kumuz as played in Azerbaijan by Asiq [bardic performers] differs as it has a leather covered body and two or three strings made of sheep gut, wolf gut or horsehair. 

Etymology: The instrument’s name, dating from the 17th century, derives from these ‘tied’ frets [in Turkish: bağ: ‘fret’, ‘knot’; bağlamak: ‘to tie, knot’]. The word bağlama is first used in 18th-century texts. The French traveler Jean Benjamin de Laborde, who visited Turkey during that century, recorded that “the bağlama or tambura is in form exactly like the cogur, but smaller.” He was probably referring to the smallest of the bağlama family, the cura.

According to the historian Hammer, metal strings were first used on a type of komuz with a long fingerboard known as the kolca kopuz in 15th-century Anatolia. This was the first step in the emergence of the çöğür [cogur], a transitional instrument between the komuz and the bağlama. According to 17th-century writer Evliya Çelebi, the cogur was first made in the city of Kütahya in western Turkey.

Playing Techniques: The melody is commonly played on the first double course of strings, while the remaining courses are struck open as drones. Sometimes, however, the second and third courses are also fingered. The second finger of the plectrum hand is often used to strike the soundtable to add a percussive element to the melody. The bağlama is generally played with a cherry-bark plectrum, though formerly the fingertips were widely used.

To take the strain of the metal strings the leather body was replaced with wood, the fingerboard was lengthened and frets were introduced. Instead of five hair strings there were now twelve metal strings arranged in four groups of three. Today, the cogur is smaller than a medium-size bağlama.

Construction: The baglama has a pair shaped body called a [oyma] and the stave built body is called a [yaprakli]. The sound table is usually of coniferous wood such as pine. The neck has up to 22 tied frets. Each fret is spaced in a manner allowing for the use of 1/4 and 3/4 quarter tones. Traditionally the frets were made of sheep gut or copper wire but nylon is now used.  There are three double courses of metal strings tuned with wooden pegs. 

Bağlama Tunings
Name Tunings
Bağlama düzeni A G D 
Bozuk / kara düzeni G D A
Misket düzeni F# D A
Fa / F müstezat düzeni F D A
Abdal düzeni A A G
Zurna düzeni D D A
Do müstezat düzeni G C A
Aşık düzeni A D E
24 Tone Frets – Baglama
Name  Ratio
Fret 1 18/17
Fret 2 12/11
Fret 3 9/8
Fret 4 81/68
Fret 5 27/22
Fret 6 81/64
Fret 7 4/3
Fret 8 24/17
Fret 9 16/11
Fret 10 3/2
Fret 11 27/17
Fret 12 18/11
Fret 13 27/16

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