Saz semai

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The saz semai is also spelled saz sema'i, saz sema-i, saz sema i, saz semaī, saz semâ'î, sazsemai, saz semaisi, or sazsemaisi. In the Arab world, it is called Samâi. It is an instrumental form in Ottoman classical music. It was typically the closing movement of a fasıl (suite). The saz semai was metered and typically used the usul (rhythmic structure) called Aksak Semai.

A saz semai is typically in 4 movements, called Hane, door, each movement followed by a teslim (refrain). The teslim and the three first Hane are usually in rhythm structure 10/8, unlike the fourth Hane which will be in 6/4.

Like : First Hane (Rhythm : 10/8) Teslim (Rhythm : 10/8) Second Hane (Rhythm : 10/8) Teslim Third Hane (Rhythm : 10/8) Teslim Fourth Hane (Rhythm : 6/4) Teslim

Common Saz Semaisi[edit]

Some Saz Semaisi are very known and played in the all makam music area (From Greece to Iraq, and from Iraq to Morocco). Here a few of them :

  • Samâi al Thakil - also called : Arap saz semai. This samai is in makam Bayati.
  • Samâi Al-Aryan - also called : Samâi Bayati.
  • Samâi Shad Araban - Shet Araban Saz Semaisi. Composed by Tanburi Cemil Bey.
  • Samâi Husseyni. Composed by Tatyos Efendi.
  • Samâi Nahawand - Nihavend Saz Semaisi. Composed by the son of Tanburi Cemil Bey : Mas'ud Cemil Bey.

Saz Semai 's Composers[edit]


  • Walter Feldman : "Music of the Ottoman court : Makam, composition in the early Ottoman instrumental repertoire" ; Intercultural Music Studies, 1996.

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