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Kemençe of the Black Sea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Kemençe of the Black Sea (Turkish: Karadeniz kemençesi, Greek: Ποντιακή λύρα Pontiakí lýra or Pontic lyre, Laz: Çilili (ჭილილი), Armenian: քամանի Qamani) or Kemençe of Laz[1] is a bottle-shaped bowed lute found in the Black Sea region of Turkey (Pontus), adjacent Armenian and Georgian peopled lands, as well as in Greece. The name kemençe comes from the Iranian musical instrument, kamancheh (Persian: کمانچه‎).

Etymology

The name Kemençe derives from the Persian (kamancheh) and means small bow.[citation needed] The name lyra derives from the name of the ancient Greek lyre.[citation needed]

Construction

Pontian Lyra    #  Part Name  Meaning  Function   1  Tepe, To Kifal  Top, Head  Peg holder (same as the body)   2  Kulak, Otia  Fist, Ears  Pegs   3  Boyun, Goula  Neck  Place for hand (same as the body)   4  Kravat, Spaler  Bed, Slabbering bib  Fingerboard   5  Kapak  Cover  Soundboard   6  Ses delikleri, Rothounia  Sound holes, Nostrals  Soundholes   7  Eşek, Gaidaron  Donkey, Rider  Bridge (pine)   8  Palikar  Stalward Young Man  Tailpiece   9  Gövde, Soma  Body  Body (plum, mulberry, walnut, juniper)   10  Solucan, Stoular  Worm  Sound post (inside)   11  Teller, Hordes  Strings  Strings
Pontian Lyra
# Part Name Meaning Function
1 Tepe, To Kifal Top, Head Peg holder (same as the body)
2 Kulak, Otia Fist, Ears Pegs
3 Boyun, Goula Neck Place for hand (same as the body)
4 Kravat, Spaler Bed, Slabbering bib Fingerboard
5 Kapak Cover Soundboard
6 Ses delikleri, Rothounia Sound holes, Nostrals Soundholes
7 Eşek, Gaidaron Donkey, Rider Bridge (pine)
8 Palikar Stalward Young Man Tailpiece
9 Gövde, Soma Body Body (plum, mulberry, walnut, juniper)
10 Solucan, Stoular Worm Sound post (inside)
11 Teller, Hordes Strings Strings

Playing

Young Pontian kemenche player in Trabzon, 1910 postcard
Young Pontian kemenche player in Trabzon, 1910 postcard

It is played in the downright position, either by resting it on the knee when sitting, or held in front of the player when standing. It is always played "braccio", that is, with the tuning head uppermost. The kemenche bow is called the yay (Turkish: Yay) and the doksar (Greek: δοξάρι), the Greek term for bow. The kemençe is similar to a kit violin, as it allows for the violinist to dance while playing.

The strings are depressed onto the neck of the instrument by the player’s finger pads in the way violin strings are pressed, such as the large Cappadocian kemane.

The musicians usually play two or all three strings at the same time, utilizing the open string(s) as a drone. Sometimes they play the melody on two strings, giving a harmony in parallel fourths. They tend to play with many trills and embellishments and with unusual harmonies.

History

Kemençe in Turkey
Kemençe in Turkey

The kemenche may be a development of an instrument which had an elongated water gourd for its body. The center of Kemenche playing activity seems to have been the historical strongholds of Pontic Greeks such as the district of Trabzon and the contiguous areas of the districts to the west and east of it as well as to the south, Giresun, Rize, northern Sivas and Gümüşhane, whose main town had been called Arghyrόpolis. Also, Görele is a very important centre of kemençe. Every year, kemençe festivals held in Görele. West past Tirebolu towards Giresun (Ancient name: Kerasounta), the number of kemençe players begins to decrease and the lute as well as the violin (keman) and tambourine (tef) begin playing a more important role. Further west into the districts of the Ordu and before reaching the town of Samsun the kemençe has virtually disappeared. East of Trabzon, after Rize, the kemence faces competition from the bagpipes (Karadeniz tulum).

A dance commonly associated with the kemenche and Pontus region is Horon.

In Greece, pontic lyra has been played in areas populated by Pontian refugees since the beginning of the 20th century. It is also played by Greek communities around the Black Sea, such as those in Mariupol. The instrument is also popular among the Hemshin peoples, who originate from the eastern Pontus. Due to the size and spread of the Pontic Greek, Hemshin and Turkish diasporas, the instrument is now widely played in urban centers throughout the world. Classical music ensembles outside Greece and Turkey increasingly include a Kemençe.

Related instruments

The Cappadocian Kemane is a musical instrument from Cappadocia having the same form but sympathetic strings added.

The European rebec and even the later dancing master’s kit or pochette fiddle share also common features.

Notable kemençe virtuosi

Pontian Kemençe in production
Pontian Kemençe in production

See also

References

  1. ^ [http://www.trabzonkulturturizm.gov.tr/ REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM: Directorate of Culture and Tourism of Trabzon] 2011

Bibliography

  • Özhan Öztürk (2005). Karadeniz: Ansiklopedik Sözlük Black Sea Encyclopedic Dictionary. 2 Cilt (2 Volumes). Heyamola Yayıncılık. İstanbul. ISBN 975-6121-00-9
  • Margaret J. Kartomi: On Concepts and Classifications of Musical Instruments. Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology, University of Chicago Press, 1990
  • Petrides, Th. "Traditional Pontic dances accompanied by the Pontic lyra
  • "Pontian Music"
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments: Londra, 1984.
  • Asuman Onaran: Kemençe Seslerinin Armonik Analizi, İstanbul, 1959.
  • Laurence Picken: Folk Musical Instruments of Turkey, Londra, 1975.
  • Rauf Yekta: Türk Musikisi (çev: Orhan Nasuhioğlu), İstanbul, 1986.
  • Curt Sachs: The History of Musical Instruments, New York, 1940.
  • Hedwig Usbeck: “Türklerde Musıki Aletleri”, Musıki Mecmuası, no. 235 - 243, 1968 - 1969.

External links

This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 08:19
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