String Instruments

The History of the Baglama: From Folk Music to Modern Pop


The baglama, also known as the saz, is a traditional Turkish stringed instrument with a long and rich history. From its early use in folk music to its modern popularity in pop music, the baglama has been an integral part of Turkish music for centuries.

Origins of the Baglama

The exact origins of the baglama are unknown, but it is believed to have first appeared in Anatolia during the Ottoman Empire. The instrument quickly became popular among the rural communities, especially the Alevi and Kurdish populations.

Design and Construction

The baglama consists of a long-necked fretted lute with a pear-shaped body and three double-courses of strings. The body is often made from mulberry wood, and the strings are traditionally made from sheep gut. Over the years, various modifications have been made to the design of the baglama, including the addition of a fourth string and the use of metal strings.

Role in Turkish Music and Innovation and Modernization

The baglama has played an important role in Turkish music for many years. It has been used in various genres, including folk music, classical music, and pop music. In fact, many famous Turkish musicians, such as Zeki Müren and İbrahim Tatlıses, are known for their use of the baglama in their music. In recent years, the use of baglama in pop music has increased, with popular artists such as Tarkan and Sezen Aksu incorporating the instrument into their songs.

Despite its long-standing history, the baglama has not been immune to innovation and modernization. In the 1960s and 1970s, a new style of music known as Arabesque emerged in Turkey, which combined traditional Turkish music with Western instruments and techniques. This led to the development of the elektrik bağlama, or electric baglama, which allowed for greater amplification and distortion of sound.

Boma Music and the Baglama

Today, Boma Music continues to be a popular genre in Turkey, and the baglama remains an important part of this style of music. However, the instrument’s popularity has spread beyond Turkey’s borders, with musicians from around the world incorporating the baglama into their music.

In conclusion, the baglama is a symbol of Turkish music and culture, and its influence can be heard in a wide range of musical genres, both traditional and modern. With its unique sound and versatility, it is no wonder that the baglama continues to be popular today, both in Turkey and beyond.


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