Music has existed for as least as long as people have been able to speak, or even longer. Every culture on the planet has its distinctive type of music, like its language and food; Saz is one of them!
The origin of Saz
In Turkish, Saz means "instrument," which later became one of Turkey's most popular string instruments. It originated in central Asia, where Turkes formerly resided, in the fourth century and has seen several alterations throughout history.
With just three strings and no frets, it was considered the first plectrum instrument, famous as 'Komuz,' primarily used in religious events. Prior to that, comparable instruments (such as the "Iklig") were played with a bow overstretched animal skin. As the popularity of the Saz grew and its harmonies improved, players added more strings and frets. By the 1940s, the Saz had seven strings, now widely played across the Middle East.
Evolution of Saz
The modern Turkish musical instrument Saz belongs to the long-necked lute family. In reality, several nations neighboring Turkey use another name for Saz -Baglama. The Turkish Saz/Baglama is remarkably similar to the Greek bouzouki in terms of sound and appearance. Like the trichordo bouzouki, the Saz features a long, thin neck.
Instead of utilizing machine heads to tune the strings, Saz uses friction tuning pegs at the top, similar to those on a violin. Some contemporary Saz feature machine heads for metal strings, which are more effective than regular frets. Even though they haven't yet taken off, typically, there are seven strings, and three significant courses are grouped.
The mix of string arrangement is what gives the Saz its outstanding sound. Two sets of identical strings are on either side of the center course, which sets them off from the other two courses by an octave that creates a pleasing and enchanting sound.
What makes Saz the best?
For ages, the Saz has been one of Turkey's most popular stringed long-neck instruments employed in Ottoman music, Turkish folk music, Armenian music, Azerbaijani music, and in a few regions of Syria and Iraq.
The body of a saz is a hollowed-out piece of wood with two small spherical sound holes at the bottom. A V-shaped joint connects the neck to the body and the tuning head. Anyone can play a Saz or Baglama with or without a plectrum.
Saz players usually play all melodies throughout the course, with fingers hopping up and down the neck. Most of the time, the other two courses are used to play chords and notes that sound good together. As you move up the scale, these are how the seven strings are tuned: G g | d d | A a a
The sound and look of Saz/courses Baglama are both impressive and hypnotic. To get your hands to some soothing sounds, you may go through our comprehensive collection of Saz Baglama.
Are Saz and Baglama different?
Baglama Saz, Anatolian culture's oldest and most famous instrument, is divided into short and long-neck varieties. The short-neck Baglama is called Çöğür, while the long-necked one is called Bozuk.
Baglama with a long neck is the classic type. In the 1970s, the Baglama's neck was reduced by deleting the pitches B and C, and the short-neck Baglama was created to facilitate performance.
Here are a few more differences between long and short Baglama Saz:
- A baglama with a long neck is four frets longer than Baglama with a short neck.
- Because the baglama saz with the long neck has a longer wire, its pitch is deeper.
- The long-neck Saz comes with 23 frets, while the shorter one- has 19 frets.
- Baglama with a shorter neck is more functional as it is more practical to play.
- Long neck baglama has a broader sound spectrum and transposition.
- Musicians who perform in the same octave favor baglama with a shorter neck
- Both forms of baglama saz have distinctive playing approaches- Semai, Ayin, etc., are played with a baglama with a short neck.
Saz Buyer's Guide: What to Look for When Purchasing a Saz
- Quality of Saz: Although a musical instrument's primary function is to spread good vibes with pleasing sound, before buying one, ensure the Saz's body is free of fractures, cracks, or tears. A quality product will last a lifetime!
- The perfect structure: The Saz comprises three essential components, each of which must be created with precise dimensions to function correctly. So, when choosing a Saz, check out your instrument and have a straight and sturdy neck.
- String quality: When playing a Saz, the strings are essential components that create a distinct frequency variation. The most experienced musicians search for the best possible strings to get the tone they want. Saz should only be purchased with Pyramid strings. A German-made product of excellent quality.
- String action: The gap between the strings and the neck is called the "string's action." The pitch must be reasonable to ensure that the Saz is as enjoyable as possible. Consider how much more difficult it would be to push the strings if they were further away from the neck. There should be no buzzing or unpleasant noises from the strings of a decent instrument.
- Pegs: Ebony wood is used to make the finest pegs. Ebony or Rosewood pegs should be used on your next Saz. You'll be able to tune the instrument more efficiently and for a more extended time if you do this.
Identifying a High-Quality Saz
Only experience and experimentation will help you pick that perfect sound that is all about the connection of music with a human heart.
Before making a purchase, choosing high-quality materials is crucial to consider the quality of the Saz you are bringing home. We are here to assist you if you find it challenging to figure out which Saz is best for you.
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