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Saz

  



Saz is the stringed musical instrument played with tazana (mizrab). It is the successor of an integral part of the great minstrel music and saz-word art. At the same time is saz one of the symbols of the Turkic morality, Turkic world. Being sincretic , that is, combining ins elf music, singing, poetry, performance of speech and drama, actor and dance (plastic) arts, it is besides being connected with mugham art, at the same time old layers of the national culture of Azerbaijan. In ancient Turkic-speaking peoples the artists know as shaman, qam, oyun, bakhshi, yanshaq, varsaq, and finally, ozan are ancestors of today’s minstrel.
Through a great evolution through the centuries and millenniums 0zan art becomes the art of minstrel music the qopuz gopuz also received a similar evolutionary path and formed as an instrument of saz. 
Saz had received its present day shape in the period of Shah Ismail Khatai (XVI century).
Azerbaijani saz differs from saz and similar instruments spread among the Turkic-speaking peoples in terms of its musical technique, sound acoustics with the undeniable advantages.
Body of saz is made of selected kinds of mulberry tree, and arm is made of walnut wood. The body is assembled from wooden "ribs"h attached to each other in the odd number (usually 9). The "ribs" are assembled on small parts called “kup” connecting arm and body and then an arm is added. The surface of body is covered with thin wooden cover and 16-17 curtains are attached to its arm. In Azerbaijan tavar saz distinguished by the size, or mother saz has 9, sometimes 8 strings, and a compact saz or so called armpit saz has 6, sometimes 7 strings,  and small jura saz has 4- 6 strings. Once strings were made of high-quality steel, and dipped in silver water. They never become stained and in very few cases get broken.
In orchestra of Folk Instruments, as a rule, the armpit or jura saz is used as solo instrument. Saz is sounded mainly with tazana made of cork of cherry tree. In most cases, the arm and sides body of saz  are adorned with pearls.
The total length of tavar saz which is considered as main saz is 1,200 mm, the depth of body is 200 mm. Its diapason is from first octave’s "do" to the second octave’s "sol" sound. 





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