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Qa'nun, qanoun, kanoun, santur, cymbalon, cimbalon, hakkebord

Name: qanoun
Classification: chordophones
Origin: Persia

qanounThe Qanoun was first mentioned in the Arab litterature of the 10th century.
Its twenty-six triple courses of strings are made from nylon or gut metal-wound silk. The kanoun was introduced in Europe during the Middle Ages.
The Kanun is a very complex musical instrument.

According a legend it was created by Ibn Al-Farabi, an philosopher born in the small village Wasij near Farab in Turkistan in 870. qanoun musicianAl-Farabi wrote a lot on the theory of Arab and Persian classical music (his parents were Persian) and had an remarkable approach on how music laws where constructed. Al Farabi died in 950 in Damascus. Abu al Nasr al Farabi invented and played several instruments. This great scientist mastered his instruments and music so well that he could make people laugh or weep at will. Early 16th century Persian miniatures showed a plucked instrument resembling the qanun.
The name originated from Arabic Qonun and Greek Canon both meaning "Law".
The qanuni (qanun player) can play many types of intervals, called zulzul. By the Arabic and Turkish qanun the tones are adjusted by small bras mechanical jumpers so that each interval can be created and a note can be altered by commas (small fractions of a note, 8 commas=1 semi-tone).
Special thank to Arif Birçer of Turkey who taught me the secrets of Qanun and Turkish rhythms.

qanoun player