Haibun: Ancient Harmonies

a blue and white whippet sniffing a cardboard box from Sala Muzik
a blue and white whippet in pink fleece sniffing a baglama saz

Our Hoopa has been filling our home with music during lockdown and today he received his baglama saz, all the way from Istanbul. There is lots to sniff and discover.

The saz is played in many countries and the tradition is thousands of years old. It made its way from Persia via Azerbaijan, Anatolia, Istanbul, Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Berlin to the rest of Europe and across the Atlantic and is played in the rest of Asia too.

People play the saz to accompany poems, songs and stories that are handed down from generation to generation. Ali Ulutaş, a musician, says the saz is a door of secrets. When people play it, listen to it, they get to know the essence within themselves and from that place, they can understand the other.

southern wind
warm notes and harmonies
fill the room

© Xenia Tran

a black whippet in red fleece listening to a man playing the baglama saz

A warm-hearted thank you to Veysel and his colleagues at Sala Muzik in Istanbul for sending the saz safely to the Highlands.

Wishing you all a blessed day and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/4 – 1/1000 s – ISO 1600, f/2.2 – 1/640 s – ISO 1600 and f/3.5 – 1/250 s – ISO 400.

Below is a video of Ayşe Şewaqî performing Şîr Û Kef from the beautiful Saz Film:

… and for an instrumental performance by Bangladeshi artist Emon Chowdhury you can listen to his beautiful rendition of Tri Bhubon below:

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Earthweal Open Link Weekend #67

Author: whippetwisdom

The stories, poems and photographs on this blog are the original creative work of Xenia Tran. Inspired by life in the Scottish Highlands and in awe of nature she gives voice to the wisdom of her adopted and fostered whippets.

67 thoughts on “Haibun: Ancient Harmonies”

  1. This is so beautiful post and so emotional for me, I know all of them and this Sala Music too… But I haven’t known that you are interested in this music and Saz… Music is great connection, suddenly opens the door…. Thank you dear Xenia, Blessing and Happiness to you ALL, Love from İstanbul, nia

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Nia 💗 We fell in love with the sound of the Saz as soon as we heard it and my husband has wanted to learn how to play it ever since. It connects straight with the heart and when we listen to the Turkish songs we listen with our heart. We’re so grateful the tradition is kept alive and that young people today are learning to play the saz too. Much love and blessings back to Istanbul 💞💜💞 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Cathy, Eivor especially listens to every note and they both love the warm sound of the Saz 🧡 Wishing you a wonderful evening and much love from our house to yours 🤗💕🐕 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Music is a universal language.
    When musicians gather, they share the love of song, and all other labels vanish. Color, religion, politics– they all disappear.
    We want to hear one another, and we are united in our music.
    We don’t even need to speak the same spoken language.
    We have the magic of music.

    All my best,


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Beautifully said dear Paz, thank you so much for your kind words. We are so grateful for the unity and connections music brings. Much love from our house to yours 🐾💛🐾


  3. Ah, Music…a relationship that engages the soul! I majored in Music in college, and resonate with the excitement of a new instrument, a new language, a new window to a culture. Thanks for joining the challenge and sharing this gift!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Priscilla, it’s a wonderful instrument and we look forward to discovering more tunings and melodies as we get to know it. The Saz immediately creates a special bond and the dogs can feel that connection too 💛

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Laurie 💚 It’s been really interesting to learn more about its history, the different spiritual and folk traditions it transcends and how people in every region develop their own style of playing it 💛🎶

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I arrived at my daughter’s house yesterday evening and am so grateful to be able to spend the weekend with her! ❤️ I’ll most likely share my weekend. Sending hugs and love to you and family too! ❤️🐾😍xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well xenia, as we say here in the states “You learn something new every day.” Today the saz was something new to me and I loved your images, especially the last. Thank you for the enlightening post and the introduction to this amazing instrument.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for that first photo, Xenia. That was my Saturday morning dose of adorable pup face. So cute! I would guess your fur babies are enjoying the music from this ancient instrument, that it’s music to their ears as much as it is to yours. Hugs and love from across the ocean!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I would love to hear the music of that instrument and love that it is sometimes the background for poetry. I love your sweet dogs too. They look very attuned to the music. Smiles.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Sherry, I think you’d love the sound of this instrument too! If you can access the videos near the end of this post they’ll give you a beautiful introduction 💛 xxx


  7. Such a wonderful photo of Eivor listening to the sounds of the saz. I’ve heard the instrument before, but didn’t know it’s origins and history. Lovely post, Xenia.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A wonderful post, Xenia, with so much to enjoy: music, background information about the saz, great photos of Eivor enjoying the music, and a stunning haiku! Thank you for cheering me up after the second Covid jab, which has knocked the stuffing out of me.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Lovely, lively, divine — there is something in the marriage of poem and accompaniment to music that is elemental. If the saz is the “door of secrets,” the poem then is the key … I read of a Siberian shamanness whose spells would not work unless sung in a lovely voice — and a young woman was found who had become Christian but still her voice was pure and clean and sang the spell to magnificent effect. Poets and harpists were so specialized in ancient Ireland they were forbid to practice the other’s craft … In my own history guitars were the dragon that nested eventually in the tree where all the poems waited. Anyway, hope the warm succulent notes brighten your Highlands — Brendan

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing these beautiful stories dear Brendan. The image of guitars nesting in the tree where all the poems waited is pure magic! Wishing you a blessed weekend from all of us here 🐾💛🐾


    1. Thank you kindly dear LuAnne, we fell in love with the sound of the saz as soon as we heard it. It has so many stories to tell and it’s a pleasure to share 🤗💛🎶


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