Zurna is a Turkish folk instrument of the wind type. Because of its strong sound it is generall played in tthe open air, on occasions such as village weddings, sending off the boys to military service, sport encounters, folk dances and similar ceramonial events.. It was the first melody instrument of the Mehter teams in the Ottoman period. It was also used in some traditional theater (ortaoyunu) peformances. It is generally accompanied with a drum. Because of the difficulty of its intonation and its high sound level, it is not used in musical groups. However, in the recent years it started to be used by some folk music groups.

Zurna has a sound range of nearly two octaves and has eight melody keys with seven of them on the front and one on the back. The key at the back is so located as to come between the first two notes towards the reed section at the front. The keys are generally round with 6-8mm. diameters. The length of the instrument changes between 30 - 60 cm and widens out like a funnel starting from the part the melody holes end. This section is called the kalak. At the blowing end there is a thin pipe like rod over which the reed goes. This rod is called Metem. A seperate circular piece with a hole in the middle is put over the Metem to help the breathing technique. This piece is called Avurtluk. The most common zurna playing technique is the continuous playing technique where while the air collected in the cave of the mouth is blown out from the reed, inhalinig through nostrils occurs simultaneously.

There are seven holes besides the melody keys on the kalak section which are smaller in diameter. They are called şeytan deliği (devil's hole) or cin deliği (geni's hole). They can be closed with wax or a similaar material according to the sound hunting of the player.

The instrument which changes between 60 and 30 cm. in length as we have already mentioned is divided into three types according to its sound : Kaba Zurna, Orta Kaba Zurna and Cura Zurna (Zil Zurna). They are generally made from wood of trees such as plums, apricots, walnut, saber etc.


Zurna / mp3 (583 KB)
Zurna / rm (109 KB)

Picture: Zurna