Most common types of baglama used in Turkey
One of the most common types of baglama used in Turkey today is the divan, the largest of the family in terms of both body size and fingerboard length. It is generally played in a plain, unornamented style, and is used for playing at low pitch. It has seven strings in three groups.
Another is the tambura, the modern version of the dombra, a two stringed Kazakh and Kirghiz instrument. Its body is the same size as that of a baglama with a short fingerboard, but it is played like the long fingerboard baglama. Like the divan it has three groups of seven strings.
The short fingerboard baglama is that regarded as sacred by the Alevi and Bektasi sects, and with the long fingerboard baglama is the most common type in Turkey today. The long fingerboard baglama is known as the bozuk in vernacular Turkish and has more frets. Both types have seven strings in three groups.
The smallest of the baglama family, the cura, has a small body and short fingerboard. It is played like the long and short fingerboard baglama, but has only six strings in three groups.
Apart from these types there are many regional variations, most largely forgotten today. The best known among these are the three stringed baglama of the Teke region played by the famous baglama player Ramazan Gungor, and the two stringed cura (like tanbur from Iran) played by Asik Nesimi Cimen. Occasionally these instruments are used to lend colour in recordings of Turkish music.
Baglama represents Turkish folk music
The Kopuz and the Baglama
Dervishes and the Baglama
Like its ancestor the kopuz, the Turkmens of Anatolia attached sacred significance to the baglama, and the religious ceremonies of the Alevi and Bektasi sects begin by kissing the baglama and touching it to the head before beginning to play the hymns which made up a large part of the ritual.