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date: 15 November 2019

Cheng [çeng]locked

Extract

[çeng]

Harp of Turkey, popular in the Ottoman empire until the late 17th century and related to the Georgian changi and the ancient Persian chang. It is an open angled harp (i.e. without forepillar) that resembles Assyrian and Egyptian predecessors, held vertically with the carved wooden resonator upward and the neck below. It was made in large (açık hava çengi) and small (kucak çengi) sizes, the former played standing and the latter, with about 12 strings (presumably of horsehair), held in the lap by a seated player, male or female. Long considered obsolete, the cheng was revived in modernized form by the Turkish musician Fikret Karakaya, who in 1995 made an instrument based on literary and iconographic sources, but with the playing positions of the resonator and neck reversed, and using modern tuning devices. More recently another harp was made by Mehmet Soylemez for the harpist Şirin Pancaroğlu....

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