Want to learn more about Turkish cymbals? Read on for facts and info on the history of symbol making in Turkey...
The use of cymbals has been prevalent in the Middle East and other regions of Asia ever since the first millennium BC. The first cymbals invented were small finger cymbals. Today cymbals are made using a wide variety of materials including copper, tin and silver and can be used to produce a wide variety of sounds. Marching bands would use Turkish cymbals, as they would provide the background music for their troops marching.
The production of cymbals took a giant leap forward about four hundred years ago when a Turkish Armenian artisan by the name of Avedis discovered a major improvement in the techniques for making cymbals. The alchemist was a resident of Istanbul and in his experiments he developed a unique processing technique which led to the discovery of a special alloy of copper, silver and tin. He was able to use this alloy to create superior quality cymbals that had a remarkable resonance and clarity.
The Turkish artisan managed to impress the royalty with his smooth sounding and powerfully resonant cymbals. Soon enough he became extremely popular all over Turkey and acquired the title of “Zildjian” which literally translates as cymbal smith. Even today “Zildjian” is one of the best-known brands producing top quality Turkish cymbals.
He continued to experiment further which resulted in an even better alloy that displayed excellent resistance to hammer blows and allowed the craftsman to shape the cymbal easily without the risk of breaking the metal. The discovery of this unique formula for the alloy changed the way Turkish cymbals would sound in the future. Unlike the old school deep gong sound the new line of cymbals had a high pitch sound that resembled a whistling noise. The cymbals were lighter than those found in the churches and they had a far purer sound as well.
The technique was long kept as a well- guarded secret that was only handed down from father to son. However, with the passage of time the trade secret leaked and Turkish cymbals began to be mass- produced. On hearing the fabulous sounds of the new cymbals the sultan commissioned the artisans to produce cymbals that created sounds like the clashing of swords so that they could be used to deter the enemy during warfare. From that day onwards the Zildjian factory never stopped working to prepare high quality Turkish cymbals.
Soon enough Turkish cymbals were being exported to various regions of Europe and America. Their orchestras and bands were impressed by the unique sounds produced by Turkish cymbals and hence sought to incorporate them into their collection of musical instruments.
Even today Turkish cymbals are regarded as being the best in their league by contemporary drummers from all across the world. Today you will be able to find Turkish cymbals specifically catering to different kinds of music genres ranging from rock bands to folk music and military marching bands as well.