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Kanoun History

Historical Development of Kanoun

The kanoun was invented by Farabi (870-950), a Turkish scholar. According to some records, it has been suggested that Farabi made various changes on the kanoun.

However, according to an ancient Arab narration, other than some historical documents that show that it was used by Egyptians and Sumerians in ancient times, the kanoun is said to have been invented by Ibn-i Hallegan and that this knowledge was from the Horasan Bermek family and Mosul was born in Irbil, a city with Turks. (13th century)

According to one legend, the bird that died on a tree is said to have the kanoun inspired by the sounds of the dried intestines hanging down from the branches of the tree under the influence of the wind.

In his Evliya Çelebi Seyahatname, he writes that the kanoun was invented by one of the famous masters Ali Şah, and that Revanlı Mirza Haydar Bey and Cağalzade Mustafa Bey knew about the kanoun.

Albert Lavignac, Encyclopedi de la Musique et Dictionnarie du Conservatorie (Encyclopedia of Music and Encyclopedia of Music) also claims that the kanoun is an Arabic instrument.

Clement Huart describes the kanoun as a smaller and invested warfare than the Australians zither and the Hungarian simbalum.
It is generally accepted that the instrument named Çeng was found and developed together with the kanoun. Although its name is Greek canon (single-stringed instrument), the kanoun was brought to Anatolia after the Turks migrated from Central Asia to Anatolia after being invented in Asia. The fact that the name of the kanoun was given to this instrument also reminds me of the possibility that it was related to the kanouns of Acoustique.

According to Kurt & Ursula Reinhard (1968), in the early ages of Islam, the kanoun was used for a pedagogical purpose to demonstrate the system of sounds. The Greek-origin canon, namely the rule, the name of the kanoun comes from here. The reason for the interest in the Near East lies in this function.

Ahmedoğlu Şükrullah, who was a Turkish scholar who lived in the 15th century, is the IV. In his book dedicated to Isa Çelebi, one of the princes of the Ottoman Sultan Yıldırım Bayezid, there is extensive information about the instruments of the ancient Turks named “Çalav”. In this book, Ahmetoğlu Şükrüllah has been examined in two groups as their instruments of playing and playing, as well as musical instruments and incomplete instruments. According to the information about the kanoun, which he reported is from missing instruments, it is understood that the kanoun at that time was not different from today's kanoun in terms of shape and dimensions and beam (string) arrangement.

Since it does not mention the leather part in its kanoun, we can think that it was added to the kanoun later in this part like the latch assembly. (This information belongs to the 12th and 13th centuries.)

In a chapter describing the kanoun in Rauf Yekta's book called Turkish Music: “First of all, there was no cure for those who performed this instrument to apply other than a finger strike on the wire they wanted to raise the pitch of the sound, and to find a solution to the difficulty of this operation. Thirty years ago (the date of writing of the book, 1913), two or three metallic pieces (pegs) were thought to be placed under each wire; Thus, with these pegs, which are easily lifted and lowered, the desired pitch (pitch) is obtained treble or pest.

Mahmut Ragıp Gazimihal says about the latch assembly: “The latch system for half-curtains was applied in Istanbul at the beginning of the century.”

Today, 6 to 12 pegs can be seen for each triple wire.
The kanoun was stolen by pressing the nail of the thumb of the left hand to the various parts of the wires and finding the curtains, as it was so difficult until the discovery of the above-mentioned latch assembly. Kanuni Hacı Arif Bey (1862-1911) is known as the biggest kanoun virtuoso of the time when the kanoun was stolen without a latch.

Maragalı Abdülkadir (1350-1435) is the person who explained the technical features of the instruments used in the period of Islamic Music in the most proper way. Abdülkadir subjected the instruments to a scientific classification; He explained his production methods and technical features to his chords. The kanoun item was included in the "absolute" group and was introduced as follows; “His boat and chest are triangular, he doesn't have a handle, his strings are brass, and he is tuned three by three, that is, all three strings are pulled into the same sound, one octave is arranged so that eight bland sounds.” While Abdulkadir gave this information, he did not give the number of wires.

As stated above, until the beginning of the 20th century, wires called beams made of intestines were used for the kanoun. These beams were completely abandoned and replaced by nylon wires, as the nylon wires were more durable and sound stronger, as well as abundant in various thicknesses. These wires have nothing to do with the fish lines we know and are used from pure nylon.

Rauf Yekta, the great music scholar, wrote about the first quarter of our century: “As we have seen before, the kanoun was among the ancient instruments of the Turks; However, a time has come (throughout the 18th century) the kanoun was completely forgotten by the Turks. Here is the third brightest period of Turkish Music, III. During Selim's reign, there is no name that performs this instrument.

II. Ömer Efendi, an Arab musician from Damascus during the reign of Sultan Mahmud (1818-1839), brought the kanoun to Istanbul and since then this instrument has found many amateur performers, including Turkish ladies in between. ”

As Farmer (Henry George Farmer, Turkish Musical Instruments in the fifteenth Century) rightly objected, the view that the kanoun was forgotten or neglected in the 18th century is highly controversial. Because, as can be seen in the future, G. Scoitti's kanoun of the Turkish Girl, which he made in 1707-1786 and published a copy of Bonanni in 1723, and Toderini, who was in Istanbul between 1781 and 1786, also counted the kanoun among his chamber music instruments. Rauf refutes Yekta's views. Moreover, Toderini did not neglect to say that the kanoun was stolen by women in the palace; That is to say, the kanoun was not a market instrument at that time. Another 18th century writer Laborde counted the kanoun among the concert instruments. The kanouns of the instrument set by the Swiss painter JE Liotard in Istanbul and Izmir between 1738 and 1742 are a living document that shows that the instrument was used in the 18th century. Still, we cannot say that the kanoun is a common instrument, but this much is evident; Ömer Efendi has not brought the kanoun to Istanbul. He may have pioneered the spread and spread of this instrument.

After Kanunî Ömer Efendi, Hacı Ârif Bey, who had the Kanun, had great services in the spread of this instrument.

The path followed by Ferid Alnar is also interesting. The first real virtuoso in the instrument of kanoun are Ferid Moments. (1906-1978) was not yet seen at a very young age, he received great acclaim with his unusually virtuoso cravings and exhibited as a master kanoun artist before he was twenty. He also composed the first kanoun Concerto for string instruments and the kanoun in the 1950s. Vecihe Daryal, Nazım Bey, Âmâ Ali, Ahmet Yatman etc. were among the later kanoun enforcers. we can count other artists.

Turkish music as a clear instrument of polyphonic works with close-up techniques, using all the fingers and harp, guitar technique, with a 3.5-octave wide sound field and a distinctive and harmonious voice amongst various instruments, suitable for expressing all kinds of emotions in a rich way. can be called the piano of.

The kanoun is in the form of a trapezoid with a long curved edge. The purpose of this way is to adjust the length of the wires. Latches were added to this left side where the augers for tuning were placed. It is similar to a wooden box with a small thickness in terms of shape. The strands were stretched on the chest parallel to each other three and three. The length of the kanoun is 95-100 cm. 38-40 cm wide. and its thickness is 4-6 cm. between the right side is a right-angled trapezoid.

Fir or spruce are generally used in the construction, plane trees, linden, hornbeam and beech trees are used as chest boards. On the right side, the wires pass over a bridge called the threshold and under this bridge is the skin that provides resonance. These leathers are also used in capricorn or fish skin. The load due to the tension of the wires is about 1 ton.
In addition, it is the instrument that has the highest sound density among our plucked instruments. In the scales made in the laboratory environment, the middle octave sound intensity of "tanbur" is -6.66 dB, while the middle octave sound intensity of "ud" is -13.70 dB, while the middle octave sound intensity of "kanoun" is +2.21 dB.

This shows that if we use these three instruments together in the performance of a piece, the sound of “ud” will be lost completely, “kanoun” will be heard more strongly than both instruments.

One of the biggest problems of our music is the layout of our instruments. When placing the instruments, attention should be paid to the sound fields, and it is another important issue that the instruments are used in the layout according to their harmonic and melodic structures.

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