The Unique Microtonal Scale of the Çifteli Stringed Instrument

Composer David Hilowitz, who enjoys discovering and inventing new instruments, found a çifteli at his local thrift store and took it home to learn more about the stringed instrument and its history in Albania, Turkey, and Kosovo. He also discovered its unique microtonal scale, which is known as Maqam Husayni, one of 53 intervals in music that originated in the former Ottoman Empire.

I found more information on the çifteli’s scale. It’s actually a scale that comes from Turkey. Turkey has its own scale system and its own kind of music theory. Instead of having 12 notes per octave. In traditional Turkish music the octave is split into 53 different intervals…one of the scales in that system is called Maqam Husayni

via Nag on the Lake

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.