- Eric B. Ederer
The bowed (yayli) version of the Turkish Ṭanbūr. The normal tanbur was first bowed by the composer Tanburi Cemil Bey in the 1910s, but by the 1930s the much louder yayli tanbur was invented, apparently as a type of Cümbüş , with that instrument’s characteristic skin-head resonator. Its body is usually bowl-shaped, made of glued wooden strips or, less expensively, of spun aluminium. The wooden neck, with geared tuning machines, is 104 to 110 cm long, affording a 120 cm vibrating string length. It normally has 31 tied nylon frets in the lower octave and 24 in the higher octave, though players often move, add, or subtract frets. All but the highest course of its three or four metal bichords (tuned in fifths, fourths, and/or octaves according to the melodic mode) are intended to vibrate sympathetically, only the highest bichord being bowed and fingered. The lower bichords often sound octaves, while the playing course is tuned in unison, normally to ...