saz

Blog, Music, Sound & Video

Saz in Kiev


A short video is on the tube with sequences filmed while we were living in Kyiv in June/July 2020, and we miss Kyiv, we miss Ukraine, we miss travelling. The first part of the tune is from South Brittany, the second half is from Albania/Balkans and is called Loukoum – and we have a longer version of this on stage 😉 The instrument is a Saz/Bağlama and is from Turkey (at least this one is 😉 )

Music, Sound & Video

The forbidden 3rd


Most breton tunes cannot be played on a piano. Why ? Because they have “commas” (as it is often the case in oriental musiv for example). See the fret setup of a guitar below :

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Fret spacing is regular, whereas if you take a look at a turkish saz :

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Fret spacing is not regular, which enables to play notes with the so-called “commas”, and that cannot be played on a piano for instance (see this older issue for further details : Bağlama’s pitch). In other words, a third can be slightly higher than the minor, but much lower than the major, which means its pitch is somewhere inbetween…

Ok, now what happens if you play a tune on the turkish saz with a high third degree as we commonly have in breton music, together with a guitar ?? If you play a grid with a usual minor third, it may sound like this :

Well, I think it sounds a little bit weird, or even out of tune since a third with two different pitches gets played simultaneously… And especially, Simone doesn’t like to sing when I play this kind of chords !

So, I made a grid, trying to find “3rdless” chords, in order to avoid this “forbidden third”, this is what it sounds like :

I do think it sounds better, but you may find it’s even worse than in the first attempt ! If so, please let me know ! :))

§Yann