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Kunun (Qunan) Turkish Zither


The kanun, an oriental zither, is a music instrument unique to Turkish music. This one is handmade and not the type found in tourist markets. While the kanun has been a traditional musical instrument in Turkey, there has been a great interest among people seeking out a special sound. What makes the kanun unique is the instrument is strung with nylon strings in contrast to a similar instruments such as zithers. Additionally, the bridge does not stand on a wooden soundboard but on a parchment (drum skin), similar to the banjo. This results in a characteristic tone. This instrument was purchased new in 2000 from master teacher Halil Karaduman. The first owner intended to study the instrument and music but life took a different twist and the instrument remained in its case all these years. It is a trapezoidal body measuring 39" long and 17" in width. The body is made of exotic words with elaborate marquetry inlay... including cedar, lacewood, maple, mahogany. . It is made with dovetail joints in each corner and has an elaborate system of levers for fine tuning. The kanun is a descendant of the old Egyptian harp, and is related to the ancient Greek psaltery, dulcimer and zither


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