FR: Saz / Baglama Tabs and Tunings

Hello Dorico team,
Would be great if you make possible the creation of tablatures and Strings and Tuning Settings for long and short neck saz / baglama.
Would be nice if we are able somehow to show the tuning chart of the instrument for the current piece on the score sheet.
Here you can find more information about this oriental instrument:
http://www.khafif.com/rhy/saz/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bağlama

Thank you in advance! :slight_smile:

Best regards,
Thurisaz

From a cursory look at those pages, I believe it should be possible for you to set up the strings and tunings for these instruments, no? You can define the number of frets for each string, plus the distance from one fret to the next, independently for each string if needed – though it doesn’t appear that independent fret spacing is needed for each individual string, only that the frets are not spaced chromatically, which Dorico does support.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you for the fast reply! :slight_smile: Yes it’s partially possible to do something in order to create tuning chart and tab.
Another thing here needs improvement … the strings setup can’t be adjusted, because of the specific nature of the instrument.
I can’t for example write Dd (the lowest two strings are tuned in octaves D2 and d3) aa (the middle two strings are tuned in unison a3) Eee (the highest three strings are tuned in octaves E2 and ee3 in unison).
One more thing is very specific for the saz, most often the set of the three strings Eee is used for melodies and the other two pairs Dd and aa are more rarely used for melodies, and more often as part of harmony. They are used for melodies mainly when there is a vocal part, because of the smoother “color” they produce.

When you have some free time you can check for this instrument on YouTube. :slight_smile:
Here are few of my favorite:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE6BDrtlZ5g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7w2UA8jgoY
in this video Orhan Gencebay plays divan saz:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SfeC-MwnmY

Thank you once again for the reply! :slight_smile:

Best regards,
Thurisaz

For Turkish music you have two basic options. If you want to be traditional, use the appropriate notes from 53 EDO tonality, or an approximation to it based on fractional fret positions. If you want to go with modern practice for more compatibility with western instruments, just use 24 EDO.

Can you say a bit more about why you can’t do this? You can add as many strings as you like and specify their starting pitches, which don’t have to increase monotonically, so I would think this would be possible.

Why do you want to do that anyway? As your link says, “On this sort of instrument strings arranged in courses are played together” - just like a European lute, or a 12 string guitar. Nobody writes 12 string guitar tab on 12 lines instead of 6.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you for the reply! :slight_smile:
Well, the tab for the saz should appear as 3 strings, because this is how you should play on saz. by pressing multiple strings (the same way as playing the mandolin which has 4 sets of unison pairs) but on the saz you have 1st string (set of 3 strings - pair in unison ee3 and octave E2), 2nd string (pair in unison aa3) and 3rd string (pair in octaves D2 and d3)
In the gaps for the string names I can only enter single letter and single digit. I can’t name single string Eee, or Dd. In such cases when we have pair, or triplet of strings tuned in different octave groups we don’t need the digit.

Thank you once again! :slight_smile:

Best regards,
Thurisaz

Rob hello,
I don’t want to add more strings to the tab, just to be able to write the tuning properly. :slight_smile:

Best wishes

You don’t need to name the strings: you need to specify the nominal open pitch of each string. When you have multiple strings for each course, you provide the details of the nominal one. This is how tablature for all such instruments works, to my knowledge.

Hi Daniel,
Yes, you are right, we need to specify the nominal for the open pitch of each string. But the saz is a bit different.

From top to bottom / lowest to highest string:

3rd string is represented by two pitches (strings) in octaves - for example: Dd = D2+D3 (C4 = Middle C) therefore I can’t use D2, nor D3 as nominal
most correctly would be to name it just Dd, or just D without octave number.

2nd string is represented by two pitches (strings) in unison - for example aa = A3+A3, but more correctly would be to use aa as nominal for this string, or A without octave number.

1st string is represented by three pitches (strings) two in unison and one octave lower - for example Eee = E2 + E3 + E3 (C4 = Middle C), again I can’t set E2, or E3 as nominal for this string and would be more correctly to name it Eee, or just Ewithout octave number (which isn’t possible)

Always when I’m trying to remove the octave number from the nominal, it defaults to 0 like D0, or E0…
Would be nice if the following two improvements are made:

  1. To use nominals without octave numbers
  2. To use Solfege names for the strings like Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si

Thank you very much in advance! :slight_smile:

Best regards,
Thurisaz

I would expect the sympathetic (octave) strings to be implemented by the instrument sample rather than by Dorico. If not, one could try sending the same MIDI channel output to two slots of your VST and having the VST pitch one slot an octave above or below the other.

You have to specify an octave, Thuriasz. You can’t have a string with a pitch name but no octave defined. That’s not something we will ever implement, as it doesn’t make any sense. There must be a convention for the instrument for the nominal pitch for each string for notating music for the instrument.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you for the reply! :slight_smile:
Actually, it the Eastern Europe, and the Middle East the German note naming system is adopted as official in the music schools and academies.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmholtz_pitch_notation
Mostly used is the one with the numbers, not with the commas.
As you can see for the notes which are part of Great octave the letter is capital without number, for the notes in small octave (below Middle C) the letters are small without number. So, in this case the letters itself (without the numbers) are the nominal for the octave group, too.
Traditionally for this instrument, and it’s variations the people rarely use numbers… probably only for the cura saz (picolo) which is high sounding instrument, and for divan saz (which is bass).
Please, consider the German system as available option, too! :slight_smile:

Thank you very much in advance! :slight_smile:

Best regards,
Thurisaz

Your previous examples of “Eee” and “aa” don’t follow the Helmholtz pitch name system.

Rob hello,
Well actually the previous examples are strictly following the Helmholtz system… Just I’m trying to translate them to the English.
To me the English system isn’t “native” and I don’t think in this system. The native systems here are the Neo-Latin /solfege/ system first, and then the German.
“Eee” means that 1 tablature string is represented by three strings one tuned in E from Great octave and two tuned in e from Small octave (below middle C). On the saz you can’t play separately on these strings, you have to always press all of them.
The same situation is for “aa” 1 tab. string is represented by two strings tuned in a from Small octave (below middle C). Again you can’t press these two strings separately, and you have to use them as one, the same way as they are on the mandolin.
Natively here we call the octave groups - Sub-contra octave, Contra-octave, Great octave, Small octave, First octave (the middle C), Second octave (above middle C), Third octave, Forth octave…
The music school here is strongly influenced by the German, Russian and Italian schools… very rarely from the French. Here only the jazz musicians are familiar with the English - American system.

Best regards,
Thurisaz

Hi Daniel, from the documentation, it doesn’t look like Dorico supports fractional fret spacing though? You can create fret spacings of semitones and larger intervals, but not smaller than a semitone? Saz, Baglama, Buzuq, Tar, Setar etc. all use frets spacings smaller than a semitone.

That’s correct. At the moment you can only create fret spacings in multiples of half-steps in 12-EDO.

Thanks. Given Dorico’s stellar support for microtonal music so far, can we dare to hope that fractional fret spacing may be an option in the future?

Perhaps fractional frets only require you to use a tonal setting other than 12-EDO.

Unfortunately not, I have it set at 24-EDO already.