Top 5 Baglama (Saz) Artists in the World – Sala Muzik

Top 5 Baglama (Saz) Artists in the World


Neşet Ertaş


He was born and raised in a small village. His father was also a musician. Neşet Ertaş learnt to play violin and baglama at a young age. With his father, they played at weddings. After he moved to Istanbul, he recorded one of his father’s songs and started to became known. He sings and plays anonymous folk songs alongside with his own songs. At the time he got widely known and loved by people, he got sick and had to live in Germany for years. Upon his return he started back his concerts and records again. Neşet Ertaş is still a much respected saz artist today.

Arif Sağ


He was born in 1945. He’s always been interested in music from a very young age. In the village he lived in, until his 14, he came to know about “aşık” tradition, and learned lots of folk songs from verbal tradition. After he took lessons, he became a baglama artist in state radio, alongside with it, he was composing and recording his own songs. Arif Sağ is known for his modern touch on Turkish folk music, introducing Turkish music and instruments to the world, and his political stance. In his music school he taught to play baglama more than 40.000 students.

Orhan Gencebay


Orhan Gencebay is a very famous Turkish artist known with his unique voice usage, free-style baglama playing technics and inventing a new music genre by fusing Turkish folk music with many other styles. When his music style is called as “arabesque music” he refuses it by saying “this is an inadequate name to define his style”. He is a singer, saz artist, composer, arranger and also an actor.

Erkan Oğur


He is a Turkish baglama artist who plays traditional folk music and his own compositions. Erkan Oğur started music with violin and baglama, after graduated from chemical engineering school he also studied in conservatory and mastered lots of stringed instrument alongside the baglama. He wanted play oriental melodies with classic guitar, so he invented “fretless guitar” which allows a wider voice range. He collaborated with many famous musicians from different genres both on the stage and making musical compositions and arrangements.

Aşık Veysel


He is a very famous “Aşık” and “Ozan” from Turkey. The words aşık (ashik) and ozan (bard) is used for a traditional singer-poet who plays baglama when singing traditional epic stories or original shorter compositions of their own. They are also considered as bearer of verbal tradition, aşık culture’s roots goes back far as Shamanic Turkic societies. Nowadays it is a tradition that has not many performers. Aşık Veysel is considered one of the last of this tradition.

He has lost his sight when he was 7. His father gave him a baglama and started to recite folk poems with him. Aşık Veysel devoted himself to playing baglama and singing. After being recognized at a fest for folk poems, with encouragement of Ahmet Kutsi Tecer, he started write and sing his own poems. He traveled around the country and performed. Although he has no record on his own, even today everyone knows his songs and poems.

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