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Name: Buzuq.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.6
Scale Length: mm.
Courses: 2.
Strings: 6.
Area: Lavent.
Country: Lebanon, Syria.
Region: Lavent, Middle East.

Description: The Buzuq [in Arabic: بزق‎‎] also transliterated as bozouk, buzuk etc. It is a long-necked member of the lute family that is related to the Greek Bouzouki and Turkish Saz. An essential instrument in the repertoire of the Rahbani brothers. It does not share the same status as other classical instruments. However, this instrument may be looked upon as a larger and deeper toned relative of the saz. One could compare the bozuq analogous in the relationship of viola to the violin. Prior to the popularization of the buzuk by the Rabhani brothers. The bozuk was played in the music of Lebanon and Syria.

Etymology: The name of the bozuk may have come from the Turkish bozuk meaning “broken” or “disorderly”. This refers to the Bozuk dozen baglama, a tuning of the Turkish baglama. Another theory on the origin is that it comes from the Persian expression “tanbur-e-bozorg”.

Construction: In common with other long necked lutes of this region the bozuq shares this feature. Frets are tied onto the neck. As such the adjustable frets allow for the instrument to produce quarter tones that are present in maqamat [musical modes]. A total of six tuning gears are affixed to the head stock, typically machine gears are used. The strings are spaced in a similar order to the saz C C • G G • C C. The strings are metal owing to the instruments metallic yet lyrical resonance. Some instruments have three courses up to seven strings in total.


Idiophones are musical instruments that produce sound primarily by means of the sound waves vibrating from the entire body or resonator. Rather than a membrane, column of air. This group includes all directly struck percussion instruments apart from drums who are classified as membranophones along with some other percussion.

In the Hornbostel-Sachs classification, Idiophones are the first of the five categories arranged according to the method used to play the instrument.

11. Plucked Idiophones.
12. Friction Idiophones.
13. Blown Idiophones [such as the Ra Ra of Haiti].

These groups are then subdivided through various criteria. In many cases these subcategories are split into specific tiers allocating singular specimens of instruments or sets. The latter category includes the balafon, marimba, xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel [struck idiophones] and glass harmonica [friction idiophones].

111 Directly Struck Idiophones ~ The musician executes the movement of striking; whether by mechanical intermediate devices, beaters, keyboards pulling ropes etc. It is definitive that the musician can apply clear, extract, individual strokes and the instrument itself is equipped for this kind of percussion.

111.1 Concussion Idiophones or Clappers ~ Two or more complimentary sonorous parts strike against each other.

111.11 Concussion Sticks or Stick Clappers [such as the clap stick as used to accompany the didgeridoo].

111.12 Concussion Plaques or Plaque Clappers [Paiban].

111.13 Concussion Trough or Trough Coppers [Devil’s chase].

111.11 Concussion sticks or stick clappers (clapstick).
111.12 Concussion plaques or plaque clappers (paiban).
111.13 Concussion troughs or trough clappers (devil chase).
111.14 Concussion vessels or vessel clappers (spoons).
111.141 Castanets – Natural and hollowed-out vessel clappers.
111.142 Cymbals – Vessel clappers with manufactured rim.

111.2        Percussion idiophones – The instrument is struck either with a non-sonorous object [hand, stick, striker] or against a non-sonorous object [human body, the ground].

111.21      Percussion sticks.
111.211   Individual percussion sticks.
111.212   Sets of percussion sticks in a range of different pitches combined into one instrument. – All xylophones, as long as their sounding components are not in two different planes.

111.22    Percussion plaques.
111.221  Individual percussion plaques.
111.222  Sets of percussion plaques – Examples are lithophones and also most metallophones.

111.23    Percussion tubes.
111.231 Individual percussion tubes.
111.232 Sets of percussion tubes.

111.24        Percussion vessels.
111.241     Gongs – The vibration is strongest near the vertex.
111.241.1 Individual gongs.
111.241.2 Sets of gongs.
111.242     Bells – The vibration is weakest near the vertex.

111.242.1    Individual bells.
111.242.11 Resting bells whose opening faces upward [for example the standing bell].

111.242.12    Hanging bells suspended from the apex.
111.242.121 Hanging bells without internal strikers.
111.242.122 Hanging bells with internal strikers.

111.242.2 Sets of bells or chimes.
111.242.21 Sets of resting bells whose opening faces upward.
111.242.22 Sets of hanging bells suspended from the apex.
111.242.221 Sets of hanging bells without internal strikers.
111.242.222 Sets of hanging bells with internal strikers.
111.3 Mixed sets of directly struck idiophones.

Indirectly struck idiophones [112] The player himself/herself does not go through the movement of striking; percussion results indirectly through some other movement by the player.

112.1 Shaken Idiophones or rattles – The player makes a shaking motion

112.11 Suspension rattles – Perforated idiophones are mounted together, and shaken to strike against each other.

112.111 Strung rattles – Rattling objects are strung in rows on a cord.
112.112 Stick rattles – Rattling objects are strung on a bar or ring.

112.12 Frame rattles – Rattling objects are attached to a carrier against which they strike [flexatone].

112.121 Pendant rattles.

112.122 Sliding rattles.

112.13 Vessel rattles – Rattling objects enclosed in a vessel strike against each other or against the walls of the vessel, or usually against both.

112.2 Scraped Idiophones – The player causes a scraping movement directly or indirectly; a non-sonorous object moves along the notched surface of a sonorous object, to be alternately lifted off the teeth and flicked against them; or an elastic sonorous object moves along the surface of a notched non-sonorous object to cause a series of impacts. This group must not be confused with that of friction idiophones.

112.21 Scraped sticks.
112.211 Scraped sticks without resonator.
112.212 Scraped sticks with resonator.
112.22 Scraped tubes.
112.221 Scraped tubes without resonator.
112.222 Scraped tubes with resonator.
112.23 Scraped vessels.
112.231 Scraped vessels without resonator.
112.232 Scraped vessels with resonator.
112.24 Scraped wheels – cog rattles or Ratchet
112.241 Scraped wheels without resonator.
112.232 Scraped wheels with resonator.

112.3 Split Idiophones – Instruments in the shape of two springy arms connected at one end and touching at the other: the arms are forced apart by a little stick, too jangle or vibrate on recoil.