The etchnic culture of Azerbaijan
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Sounding of instrument

Ganun, decorated with mother-of-pearl
The 18th c. M.Kerimov's private collection.

The ganun is a string instrument that belongs to the group of horizontally laying instruments (photo 51). It has been widespread in the Middle East, including Azerbaijan, for centuries. Information on the ganun can be found in the works of Nizami Ganjavi, Mohammad Fuzuli and other Azerbaijani classical poets. One very skillful player on the ganun and chang was Mahsati Ganjavi, a 12th-century poetess who had deep knowledge about Oriental musical science.

The ganun, which was played mainly by women, is described in Fuzuli's "Haft Jam":

One night they had majlis and entertainment,
Sadness and melancholy were forgotten,
Songs imperial sounded and the maiden of paradise
Charmed everyone's hearing with the ganun, pleasing hearts.

Ganun, decorated with mother-of-pearl
The 18th c. M.Kerimov's private collection.

The ganun was also depicted in miniatures. This instrument has reached the present form through a long process of evolution. Uzeyir Hajibeyov noted that in the past, the ganun was considered to be the perfect instrument: "Like playing the piano, which is very important for every contemporary musician, playing the ganun was a must for musicians in the past, who had to be able to play it in addition to their main instruments."

The ganun is a flat wooden box of trapezoidal form. The bottom and lateral sides are made of birch, nut or another firm wood. Three-fourths of the upper part of the instrument is covered with a four-mm-thick board made of pine. The other part of the instrument is covered with fish skin. There are three resonators on the wooden part. On the skin part, there is a wooden bridge that stretches along the entire width of the instrument. The strings are attached at one end to special apertures on the instrument's body, pass over the wooden bridge and are fixed to the other end with pegs. Under the strings near the pegs are the "lings" (iron levers}, which make the strings rise and fall, changing the pitch of the sound within a tone or semitone. The 24 lines of threefold strings are fastened to the ganun. Thus, the total number of strings is 72. These strings used to be made of silk and gut. Now, kapron strings are used.

The ganun is placed on the knees and played with the ring fingers of both hands, using iron thimbles under which are laid ebonite pluckers. The ganun is tuned using an iron key shaped like a quadrangular. The ganun is 800-900 mm long, 380-400 mm wide, and 40-50 mm thick. The diatonic scale of the instrument ranges from the "sol" of the great octave to the "fi" flat of the second octave. The ganun is played in orchestras and ensembles of national musical instruments as an accompanying and soio instrument. of the instrument.



        © Musigi Dunyasi