Home » Dolls » Making a Bağlama for Morrígan

Making a Bağlama for Morrígan

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Perhaps not surprisingly, yesterday’s Google Hangout experiment resulted in my sitting in front of a camera for an hour by myself. Not a single person logged in. And that’s ok. I don’t currently have an extremely large readership, not everyone has access to a camera for such hangouts, and I’m sure everyone had other things they wanted to do with their Saturday afternoon.  But that’s ok. Rather than just blankly stare into a screen for an hour, I used the time to work on half completed projects.

Some months ago, after determining the general background that I wanted to give Morrígan, my Lammily doll, I decided to make her a miniature bağlama that she could play. I actually came across an excellent tutorial by Özden Ceyhan over on Blogspot. Since this is a traditional Turkish instrument, it is not surprising that the language of the article is in Turkish. However, between auto-translate and Mr. Ceyhan’s wonderful step by step photos, knowledge of the language isn’t required (although I personally find Turkish to be an attractive language). Because I know that my links aren’t as easily seen (I don’t know how to change the color for them), I want to make sure to give Mr. Ceyhan’s tutorial special attention:

 http://ozdenceyhan.blogspot.com/2014/02/minyatur-saz-imalat.html

     I didn’t follow Mr. Ceyhan’s process exactly, but I did use it as a guide. I glued 3 layers of balsa wood together and whittled and sanded the shape down from there. For the tuners, I cut down toothpicks into 7 small sections of equal length and bore them into the head. I used a Rust-Oleum stain marker to give the instrument color – although, probably because I used a marker instead of painted on stain, the finish looks blotchy to me. But, I suppose it will work.

Because I am sure that most of my readers have never heard this beautiful instrument before, let me share a clip so that you can appreciate the wonderful sound it creates.

When I imagine Morrígan playing, I imagine her sitting against her window, looking out to the world, and letting her heart pour out. I imagine that she sings songs her father taught her as she thinks of him hundreds of miles away back in Turkey.

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If I ever had the time, I would love to learn how to play one of these myself – and I found a rather decent beginner’s information page I felt was worth sharing: here. As it is, I’d really love to learn Turkish (along with Hindi and to become more proficient at Spanish and Japanese – both of which I studied in college but am not very good at). Maybe Morrígan can teach me? 😉

GE

 

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5 thoughts on “Making a Bağlama for Morrígan

  1. This is really cool! I have a Kurdish friend who plays this instrument, but he calls it a saz. If you are interested in learning Turkish I would suggest the Pimsleur cds. I studied Turkish in Turkey, but I used the Pimsleur before I went and it was so helpful (more than the classes, in many ways.)

    • The Pimsleur course *is* pretty great. So far I’ve only gotten through the first couple of tracks.
      I’ve also seen the bağlama referred to as a saz in various places online. The way I understand it, both words work – much in the same way we can use “violin” or “fiddle” to refer to the same instrument. I’m not sure if there are different connotations between the terms, though (like the way we generally would not use the term “fiddle” when playing classical music).

      • That’s great that you know of the Pimsleur. I found it so helpful and I always try to pass it along because a lot of people don’t seem to know about it (usually they just know Rosetta Stone.) I can say I was using things I learned from Pimsleur as soon as I stepped off the plane in Turkey. (And I tried Rosetta Stone too and did not find it as helpful, other than being to point at things and name them.)

        My friend is from Iraq, so maybe that would explain the difference in terminology. I love the idea of making one for Lammily. I think yours turned out fantastic!

      • Thanks so much! 🙂 I actually found the Pimsleur CDs in my local library – I don’t have the kind of extra funds for something as expensive as Rosetta Stone. And if I did I would probably just buy more dolls 😄

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