Zurna

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zurnaomar_faruk

                    Omar Faruk Tekbilek

Zurna is a musical instrument of the wind family, with a reed for generating the voice, and a tubular body with fingerholes like in a flute. The body is of a progressively opening type.

It is the same instrument more or less as sunay in china, shenay in India, tzurnay in Iran, zorna in Greece, zurla in Yugoslavia, bombarde in France, zokra in Tunis, Ghaytah or raita in Morocco mizmar in egypt. zamr in Lebanon and Iraq. It is found all along the bamboo belt of the old world as a folk instrument for the open air. It has been used in the military music during middle ages. You can still hear it played by the "Mehter" bands in historic "Yeni Ceri" soldier clothes performing for tourists in Istanbul. The ceremonial brass bands often in military-like uniforms you see all over the world are internationalized versions of the yeni ceri - mehter bands (Janissar-orkester), probably spread thru France, central europe and Germany

It looks like a wooden trumpet or "carry as you play" version of an alp-horn except for the fingerholes and the reed.

Bagpipes are related to zurna, except that zurna has no bag. The zurna players use their cheeks instead of the bag.

Clarinet and saxaphone are related to zurna, except that these use flat reeds.

Obo/Hautbois is also related but has a slightly different reed. Obo has two reeds leaned agains each other.

The reed of zurna is a cylindrical bamboo pipe thinner than the little finger, where the stiff and shiny glaze is peeled off, the zurna side is attached to a conical metal body, and the mouth side is flattened to a very narrow ellipse. This design requires considerable air pressure on the reed to get any voice, and gives a high volume.

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