Turkish Percussion InstrumentsTurkish Percussion Instruments

Turkish Percussion Instruments. Darbuka, Daire/Tef (tambourine), Davul (drum), Kudum (small double drum). General information.

Daire/Tef (Tambourine)

Daire/Tef (Tambourine)

The Daire/Tef (tambourine) percussion instrument was used in various ways by the ancient civilisations in Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Egypts, and by those that followed, as well as by the Ottomans for both religious and secular purposes. It then moved on from those regions to Europe.

The daire is about 30-40 cm. in diameter, and is made by stretching animal skin over one side of a wooden rim, generally made of walnut. Bronze discs, generally in pairs, are attached to struts running through holes in the rim. When the skin is struck, these discs rattle, producing a more colourful sound. As well as discs, various chains and links have also been employed. The instrument can come in different sizes, and large ones were used by shamans in former time, giving rise to the name "shaman tambourine". Versions without bells are more generally used in a religious context, and are called "bendi", "bender" or "mazhar".

Smaller tambourines are known as "tef", and these normally have a diameter of 28-30 cm. These are known as "duf" in Persian and "defik" in Arabic, and it is from these that the Turkish name comes. The most popular skins are dog and calf, although the skins of other animals are also used. The rim of the tef is usually 4-6 cm. tall. The rim is frequently decorated with veneers of various woods or ivory, mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell, making them more valuable.

Instruments similar to the darbuka, of various shapes and sizes, were used by civilisations in Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Central Asia in ancient times. In later periods, these changed and developed, but continued to be used in the same areas.
The davul (or screw davul) is one of the very oldest instruments, having been used down the ages by the various civilisations of Anatolia, and later by communities in Central Asia. Despite some changes in form and construction technique, the percussion instrument that has come down to the present day is actually one of the least altered traditional Turkish musical instruments.
The Daire/Tef (tambourine) percussion instrument was used in various ways by the ancient civilisations in Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Egypts, and by those that followed, as well as by the Ottomans for both religious and secular purposes. It then moved on from those regions to Europe.
Kasik (spoon) is a Turkish percussion instrument. The ones made from boxwood are particularly favoured. The handles are taken between the fingers and the oval parts are held towards the inside of the hand ina backto back position.
Kudum (small double drum) consists of a pair of small, hemispherical drums. When used for religious purposes they were known as "kudüm", and as "nakkare" when used in a secular context or in mehter music. It was one of the four main instruments used in dervish mystical music (the others being the ney, rebap and halile) before its enrichment with instruments such as the tambur, kemençe and kanun.