String Instruments

The Different Types of Kanun: An Overview

Kanun is a famous instrument in the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean regions. It is a plucked string instrument that is played by being plucked with one end and the other with the thumb. Due to its amazing sound, Kanun has become an essential part of traditional music and is widely played in various genres. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the different types of Kanun and their significance in the music industry.

Types of Kanun

Classical Kanun

The classical Kanun is one of the oldest types of Kanun and is widely recognized for its unique sound. Classical Kanun is prominent in the traditional Turkish, Arabic, and Iranian music genres. It comprises 75 to 80 strings and is played by resting on the player’s lap while plucking the strings with two picks. It is often used for solo performances or in smaller ensembles.

Modern Kanun

The modern Kanun is a variation of the classical Kanun, which is played with the help of pickups and amplifiers. This version of the Kanun is known for its loud and electrifying sound. Modern Kanun is often utilized in contemporary-style music genres such as pop, rock, and jazz. The modern Kanun is also an essential instrument in Boma Music.

Pedal Kanun

Pedal Kanun was invented in the early 20th century and quickly became an essential part of the Turkish music scene. The instrument comprises two parts: the main rectangular body and the pedal flaps that are on the bottom side. The player uses their foot to pedal the levers, which changes the pitch, allowing for more dynamic playing. Pedal Kanun is mostly used in orchestral settings.

Significance of Kanun

Kanun has a rich and diverse history, and over the years, it has evolved to become an essential part of traditional and modern music. The instrument provides a unique sound that is often used to evoke emotions in audiences. Kanun is also an excellent instrument for solo and ensemble performances in various music genres, making it a versatile and popular instrument for professional musicians and enthusiasts.


Kanun is a beautiful instrument that has been widely embraced in traditional and modern music for years. The different types of Kanun provide a spectrum of sounds that has allowed musicians to incorporate it into various musical genres. Classical, modern, and pedal Kanun are examples of types of this musical instrument that have changed the way music is played and perceived. Kanun continues to be an essential part of the music industry, and it will undoubtedly continue to impact the music world in the future.


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