Saz - Maydan
Purchased in Izmir, Turkey, 1988
From Graciela's Notes
The Saz is a typical Turkish instrument and used in folk music. This size Saz is the third size – they come in four sizes. One of the top Saz makers in Izmir – an Aegean seaport sea – is Fikri Payzin. His little shop is located in a winding, cobblestone street just off the Bazaar. It takes Fikri 24 hours to produce a finished Saz. Frikri Bey (Payzin) picks his woods very carefully, be it chestnut, walnut, or mulberry. This Saz is a "Yaprak saz" since it is made of a combination of the three woods. Not all Sazi are decorated, but this one has lovely designs on the belly. It is quite delicately made. The Saz has three sets of double strings and there are some instruments that have nine strings. They are strummed. The instrument does produce lovely music and Turkish music is very pleasing – somewhat like Greek and some Spanish music from the Andalusian Coast. In the old days, those who played the instrument and read poetry were called "ozan" or poet. They were much respected and always welcomed any place they went. It is said that you can learn to play the instrument in a week. I have not tried it so I’m not a reliable source. I bought the "maydan Sazi" in Izmir during an Easter tour of Turkey in 1988. It was quite an experience carrying it on the bus from town to town and on the plane on the way back to Madrid, Spain. But, I had to have it!