Name: Cümbüs.

Type: Lute > Chordophone.

Region: Turkey > Middle East.

Description: The cümbüs is a Turkish stringed instrument of a relatively modern origin that is likely modeled after the Ahenk. It was developed in 1930 by Zeynel Abidin Cümbüs; (1881-1947) as louder alternative to the oud so this instrument could be heard in a much larger ensemble. The cümbüs shaped like a banjo with a spun-aluminum body and skin soundboard usually covered with synthetic skin nowadays. This instrument enjoys current popularity in both Turkish and Western music, recently it has been incorporated in rock, pop and jazz music.

Types: The most common forms of cümbüs are fretless as they are strung and tuned like the oud. Fretted cümbüs are also available they are modeled after mandolins usually having eight strings. The neck is adjustable, allowing the musician to change the angle of the neck to its strings by turning a screw. One model is made with a wooden resonator bowl, with the effect of a less tinny, softer sound. There is also a tanbur-cümbüs which is bowed.

Tunings: Although in Turkey the standard tuning is usually C# F# B E A D. Arab musicians usually tend to stick with D G A D G C. Depending on string-sets both Turkish and Arabic oud tunings maybe used.

Citations: / cumbus