مشاهدة جميع الاصدارات : unknown artists

29-03-2009, 03:09
Hello friends,

I am posting you my favorite rendition of Salih Dede's Ussak Saz Semai. It is a trully amazing version! I think it is being played, aside from percussion and a bass or a cello, by a lavta and a violin. I found it on e-mule about a year ago with a filename which indicates its track order, "04 -Salih Dede Ussak Saz semai.mp3‎". Having only that information I couldnt go much further. Does anyone knows by chance who the players are and also what's the title of the album? They play the semai so beautifully that I really want to find out the name of the soloists.

please help!



P.S.I can also hear some "clicks" as if it was recorded from an LP. But who are they????

29-03-2009, 16:19
what really puzzled me is the tonic of "F" on which they play the semai. The first time I listened to that recording I tried to play it on my ud and I got stucked. It is rather impossible to play it on an ud from F (lack of open strings). Is there any chance of tuning the lavta to a different key ? I think it seems a wierd ussak tonic for a violin player too.

So what is the reason of playing Ussak from F?

Any ideas?


31-03-2009, 18:25
Hi are you using a Turkish tuning or Arabic tuning for your Ud?

01-04-2009, 16:44
hi Najib,

I am using an "arabic" tuning, meaning a low, all fourths tuning : (from high pitch to low) CGDAEB. I often tune my ud up to a whole tone, DAEBF#C#. These tunings cant get that job done. As I posted before, the piece is being played at the tonic of Fa Ussak. Sounds wierd. I had a thought to tune my oud such a way that the F# comes to F and to retain the 4ths relation of the strings. But doing that, it is a tuning that offers you nothing. If you want to play pieces from some more standard tonics...thats almost impossible. Except that, playing from F using the last tuning with the F string being the fifth open string, it would sound as a way-too-low pitched Ussak saz semai... Awfull! The lavta plays it an octave higher than that.

What I want to say is that playing that semai from that tonic, with a reasonable finger position, leads to a MUCH higher tuning, stretching the 3rd string from D->F( and so on the rest of the strings!). I am afraid it is a dangerous tuning for an oud (and quite useless also).

Does this make sence tou you?

To sum it up, what I cant figure out is the tuning system that fits the occasion. Certainly, a F ussak isnt a Bolahenk tuning neither Supurde. What is going on?


01-04-2009, 16:57
Hi George,

1st of all welcome to the forum. Always a pleasure to have someone who knows very well about Arabic-Turkish tuning.

Having played with Turkish musicians in London my impression is that they always play relative positioning so they will never attempt to play awkward positions.

Yes the doukah here sounds as F 2 notes higher than a "normal" Arabic doukah and 1 note higher than a "normal" Turkish doukah.

So my only explanation is that they are tuning one note higher than the normal Turkish tuning and therefore maybe they are using a clip (for the Ud at list) something that I sometimes use to make my Arabic Ud tuning one tone higher.

Only my theory of course.

02-04-2009, 02:53
Τhank you Najib for your kind words and for your interest of course.

I own a turkish Ud but I tune it one note lower in order to have the 3rd string as D, because it is a very common position when playing along with a female singer. That helps me a lot and I am not the only one doing that...I am not saying that I play only from D, of course not, but the high turkish tuning makes things a bit more complicated due to the F#C# open strings...

Your theory involving a "clip" (a guitarist might know of it as a "capotasto") sounds correct to me, concerning the lavta on the recording. I dont know many things about a lavta but certainly a F Ussak is a bit out of perception in turkish instrumental music (and maybe in vocal also...). I've seen saz players using "clips" on their instrument, I also do that, but never thought to do it on my oud. I have the feeling that it would narrow my fingerboard down and I will end up dealing with "buzzing" strings. I'm pretty sure, your arabic Oud has a little longer fingerboard as a matter of the lower arabic tuning.

Another thing it worths asking: how convenient is to play the F Ussak position on the violin? (a violin player should answer that...)

I really can't understand the purpose of playing on that pitch.

My original answer is still unanswered: WHO are the players in that piece? Maybe the confusion will fade out if we find out anything about the source of that recording. There is certainly a violin (an outstanding violin I can tell). I can easily hear a lavta (sounds to me as an interpolation between the sound of an Ud and a tanbur, ergo a lavta!). How many prominent lavta players are in the discography? Any traces of stylistic signature recognised?

What I can confidently say is that the recording must have taken place before the nineties. It is easy to hear the characterestic "clicks" of an LP record. Anyway, taking into account the quality of the recording, I think that it must have been recorded during the 80s...

Any ideas about the lavta player?