Type: Lute > Chordophone.
Region: Turkey > Middle East.
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.
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.
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.