Talk:Turkish crescent

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Improving the article[edit]

I'm working on this article, which has quite a few conflicting and hard-to-pin-down sources. Some material for improving the article appears below. --Lou Sander (talk) 17:58, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Unsubstantiated claims temporarily (?) removed from the main article[edit]

The Turkish crescent is believed to have originated in Turkey as the chaghana and may have been the successor of the zurna.[citation needed] It may have an antecedent in the staff of a Central Asian shaman. It was used as a percussion instrument within the Janissary band as a way to keep time with music and marching. It was used on the first beat of every measure.

It is thought that the chaghana was made known to Western Europe during the last of the Habsburg Wars with Turkey (1657-1683). However, it didn’t become popular in military bands in Western Europe until the late 18th century. Sources from that time period reveal that Prussian influence on Europe was probably responsible for this because of their restrictions on percussion in military bands. This changed when the instrument was formally introduced. It then rapidly spread in use in Russia, Poland, Prussia, and Britain, in that order. Countries which use the instrument in modern times include Russia (incl. the USSR) and Germany.[citation needed]

The glockenspiel is believed to have derived from the Turkish crescent.[citation needed]

RE: Berlioz piece - "(performed in the Albert Hall in 2009 for the second time only at the Proms)."

Some photos for a gallery[edit]

A lot of these are dead now. I'll leave them in for reference. Lou Sander (talk) 15:05, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Some references[edit]

  • Connaught Rangers book
  • You can get a lot by Googling 'Connaught Rangers salamanca jingling johnny'
  • Possibly very important: French Imperial Eagle (Article says that only two were captured. Did the Connaughts' Johnny have one?)
  • Military academies in Russia See: 2.20 Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov Moscow Military Music School
  • Corps_of_Drums#Corps_of_Drums_in_Germany
  • cevgen seems to be the Turkish name for the ones used in Mehter bands. Can't find much in English about this word. Some of the stuff says it carries concealed bells. Maybe those are the apparently bell-less ones in the Mehter pictures. Why aren't these in the lists of Turkish musical instruments? The Turkish Museum site has something about them as an instrument. Doesn't look anything like Johnny.
  • chaghana needs more research. Seems to be a legitimate term for the original Turkish one. Google 'chaghana turkish' to find lots of scholarly references, incl. Powley thesis.
  • sulde is another key word, I think having to do with Mongols
  • schellenbaum is an important German word and concept
  • teufelsgeige or -er, etc. is a German word and concept. Maybe it means devil's violin or something similar. There's a lot of it as a folk instrument on YouTube
  • Janischarenmusik = Janissary music
  • Großer Zapfenstreich is the German civilian(?) gathering
  • The one in Grove is in the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall
  • Bell lyre and glockenspiel have some similarity to Johnny — Preceding unsigned comment added by Birfday (talkcontribs) 03:00, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

New section of references 1[edit]

New section of references 2[edit]


Did Beethoven really include the jingling johnny in his 9th Symphony? Citing a review of an episode of QI in The Guardian is not very convincing. The published score of the symphony has a triangle (a possible western substitute for the johnny). I'm not convinced. Eroica (talk) 17:22, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

I, too, am a bit ambivalent about the reliability of QI as a source; the QI Elves have quite a research team, and they can't afford to get too much wrong. On the other hand, my Eulenburg score shows triangolo, piatti and Gran Cassa (and timpani) for the Alla Marcia section – no Turkish crescent, Schellenbaum, or such. On the third hand, that score was definitely not used in the 1800s, and I find it quite possible that in an era when the Turkish music style was very popular, performances of that section of the Ninth may well have included a Schellenbaum; unfortunately, they didn't Twitter about it or posted pictures to Facebook. This article also mentions Haydn's "Military" symphony; that article doesn't mention a Schellenbaum either, but again, I think it's very possible. I wonder whether James Blades in Grove would provide some help here. It would be nice if the QI Elves revealed their sources. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 03:10, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I've honored your doubts by adding "is said to have" in the Beethoven item. Lou Sander (talk) 15:43, 31 December 2013 (UTC)


Where did Jingling Johnny come from? Is it just a funny naughty rhyme or is johnny derived from something else? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:20, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

One was used in the Essex Youth Orchestra performances of "Cappricio Espagnol" is the mid 1970s, and was called a Jingling Johnny. We thought nothing double-entendre-ish of the name. Ah - innocent days! Springnuts (talk) 13:50, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

My original research[edit]

I served at a NATO command and with British, French and German forces. I also have relatives in the Turkish Armed Forces. Here are some things I was told and witnessed personally.

  • "Jingling Johnny" is a name given to this "Turkish Crescent" by British soldiers. It is not of "Yank" origin as some would claim, (the Regimental) Sergeant Major Napier told me so long ago, and I am still quite inclined to agree with him. "Johnny Turk" is a sobriquet given to "Mehmetcik" (Turkish soldier) by "Tommy" at least as early as WW1, hence, "Jingling Johnny".
  • The Schellenbaum of the German Armed Forces serves as a "representative Standard of the (German) Military Music (Corps)". I have paraded when it was carried. Comrade let me hold it, and it is heavy, at least 10 kilos, about 2 metres tall and very unwieldy. It is a Federal Standard, not a musical instrument. NB: The Schellenbaum's use predates the NS era.
  • In the French Forces the noun nomenclature of the "Turkish Crescent" is indeed, "Pavillon Chinois" or "Chapeau Chinois". This was explained to me years ago by Adjutant-Chef Bernard Champromis, late of MMF aupreś du CENTAG (GAC-NATO).
  • The çevgen is not the same as the "Turkish Crescent". The bells on the çevgen are not concealed. The çevgen is carried by the Mehterân and is a percussion instrument. The "Turkish Crescent " is also carried by the Mehterân directly behind the commander.
  • I believe the "Turkish Crescent" is a standard in Mehterhane as in the German Army. I do not recall the name of it in Turkish. I will ring my brother-in-law and a good mate in Türkiye and ask them (they both served in the Turkish army). I will also ask what the assorted smaller things similar to "Turkish Crescent" in the Mehterhane are. I will also contact a mate in France with whom I served to confirm the significance of the "Chapeau Chinois". I will post this info here ASAP.
  • The Glockenspiel origin cannot possibly be connected to the "Turkish Crescent" in my view. I will check on this with a German mate, who is also a veteran with whom I attended many tattoos.
  • der Großen Zapfestreich is a military ceremony, but German Police, paramilitary and Fire Service organisations have them as well.
  • The Zurna is a woodwind instrument in the Mehterhane and sounds similar to an oboe.

Wir. Dienen. Deutschland. Önce Vatan. Legio Patria Nostra. Tjlynnjr (talk) 10:20, 13 March 2014 (UTC) .

Great stuff, and a great insight into the subject. Help us find some good sources. Lou Sander (talk) 17:46, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
More OR
  • The references in article and discussion to chaghana (sic) (Turkish: çağana) describe this object "Turkish Crescent" (object shown in images in article) as a standard, symbol, victory trophy or war trophy etc. I missed the "musical instrument" description if it is there.
  • See the following: Bunchuk and Banner (Mongols). Compare these objects and descriptions (ie: standard etc) with the "Turkish Crescent", Schellenbaum and Chapeau Chinois.
  • When reading the references provided in paragraph above entitled "Some References" to "chaghana", read carefully.
  • Source: REDHOUSE YENI TÜRKÇE-İNGİLİZCE SÖZLÜK or NEW REDHOUSE TURKISH-ENGLISH DICTIONARY 1968. Çağana or Çağanak, Persian orgin. (Closer pronunciation is: cha-ahh-na, the middle syllable being the longest, but soft). Oriental music. 1. rattle composed of metal discs mounted on a wire, used by dancers in beating time. 2. small metal castanet. 3. small tambourine. I have this set of lexicons in my collection.
  • Source: Drum frisch Kameraden, den Rappen gezäumt Ein historisch-photographischer Streifzug durch die Bamberger Garnisonsgeschichte 1871-1939. Steffan Kestler und Kai Uwe Tapken. Verlag Fränkischer Tag. 1998. On page 107 is an image of a Schellenbaum-Bearer with caption:
"Schellenbaumträger des Musikkorps des Panzerregiments 3 am Maxplatz. Der Schellenbaum war kein Musikinstrument im eigenlichen Sinne, sondern vielmehr eine aus dem türkischen Bereich stammende Siegestrophäe, die bereits 18. Jahrhundert Eingang in die deutschen Heere fand. Besonderes aufällig der mit zwei Farbigen Roßschweifen, Glocken und Eisernen Kreuzen behängte Halbmond im oberen Teil des Bildes !"
My translation: Schellenbaum (literally: Bell-tree) bearer of the band of Panzer Regiment 3 in Maxplatz (Bamberg). The Schellenbaum was not a musical instrument in the usual sense. Rather, its orgin was a Turkish realm victory (war) trophy. The Schellenbaum was introduced in the German army in the 1800's. Especially noteworthy (in the upper part of the picture), are the dual-coloured horsetails, bells, and Iron Crosses which are suspended from the crescent.
  • Regarding the Glockenspiels purported relation to the "Turkish Crescent", there are some references above which seem to indicate this. Upon careful reading I gather they say more like that the glockenspiel is derived from the Lyre. The glockenspiels adornments are an influence from the "Turkish Crescent".
  • Çevgen. This is a musical instrument carried by the Mehterân it is about 1 meter long. It is NOT the Jingling Johnny. An alternate spelling is Çevgân. It is described in the Redhouse Turkish-English lexicons referenced previously as: (from Persian) 1. polo stick. 2. lrnd. hooked stick, hook drumstick; hooked stick with a suspended ball as an emblem of royalty. 3. myst. the circumstances of life (as tossing a man about like a ball).
  • The "Turkish Crescent" has no connexion with Lagerphone, which I know as the Murrumbidgee River rattle(r). It has no connexion in origin with similar instruments (monkey stick etc) found around the world. I personally subscribe to the theory the Murrumbidgee River rattle(r) originated with the Australian Aboriginals.
  • See image number 1 of the Mehterhane above. The tall object with two horse tails is called Tuğ in Turkish. Between the two Tuğ bearers are several Çevgen players. The Tuğ is a standard or emblem of authority. Tuğ is the horsetail, which is a historical Ottoman (Osmanlı) sign of rank worn on a helmet or mounted on the staff of a standard or flag.
  • See image number 6 of the Mehterhane above. The man in the front is the commander of the Mehter Takımı, his title is Çorbacibaşı. Directly behind him is another man, behind that man is a standard bearer. The object he is carrying is called Hücum Tuğ (assault or attack) Tuğ. THAT is the Jingling Johnny. It has horsetails and bells.
  • Pending further confirmations from sources overseas, I repeat my claim that the Jingling Johnny is a standard, NOT a musical instrument.


I restored the reference to the crank, which is clearly presented in the reference originally cited (which I am looking at right now). Someone removed it because it isn't in the (subscription only) online reference they supplied. They also replaced the original, properly cited, reference with a different version of the same publication.

Please do not remove properly cited material just because it isn't in a different reference to which you have access. Lou Sander (talk) 14:52, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Still more OR[edit]

See the following sites, where one can purchase Jingling Johnny. I do not reckon that these qualify as references, but they are none-the-less interesting. Note the images and descriptive captions for: Tuğ and Hücum Tuğ. The latter being the Turkish Crescent or Jingling Johnny.

Her Şey Vatan İçin Tjlynnjr (talk) 20:18, 25 June 2014 (UTC) .

All of this is VERY good stuff. I'm limited for time right now, but I'll definitely get working on this when I'm back to normal. Lou Sander (talk) 22:54, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Another site on Mehter gear:
  • Antalya Mehter [1] Retrieved: 27 June 2014.
Sites with reference to Tuğ as a special standard, etc.
  • Mehterin Tarıhçesı. [2] Retrieved: 27 June 2014.
  • Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, İstanbul Historical Turkish Music Ensemble [3] Retrieved: 27 June 2014.
  • History Mehter [4] Retrieved: 27 June 2014.
The first Turkish lexicon also has refences for Tuğ and Hücum Tuğ Dīwān ul-Lughat al-Turk (Turkish:Divan-ü Lügat-it Türk'te Hakanlarin). Yașa Varol Harbiye Tjlynnjr (talk) 23:50, 27 June 2014 (UTC) .

From the Turkish Cultural Foundation[edit]

Disclaimer: The website referenced hereinafter is an "Open source", that appears to have no account requirements. See the following:

Summary: I reiterate my claim that the Hücum Tuğ aka Turkish crescent or Jingling Johnny is a standard, not a musical instrument. Yașa Varol Harbiye Tjlynnjr (talk) 19:47, 1 August 2014 (UTC) .

Your claim certainly has merit, at least as far as the origins of the thing go. At the same time, there is no doubt that European classical composers regarded it as a musical instrument. There seems to be a lot about things that look like it being standards. There is mention in the literature of Çevgân, "A percussion instrument used in classical Turkish Mehter music, constructed by attaching a hoop adorned with rattles, cymbals and chains to a long staff. It is played by the person leading the Mehter group, by hitting the end of the staff on the ground." (see the entry near the end of the "C" section of the Turkish Musical Dictionary published by Turkish Cultural Foundation). Somewhere in the references I recall that it is mentioned that sometimes the T.C. is played by hitting it on the ground. Lou Sander (talk) 00:33, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the message at my talk page Skip. I do concede various composers used some Turkish jingling instruments in their works. Up until I found this article I did not know this. I did not know the term Turkish crescent either. I learned these standards were Tuğ and Hücum Tuğ (but I had forgotten these terms as stated in my previous comments, see section "My original research", paragraph 6). So, many thanks for creating this article.
The çevgen (alternately çevgân) resembles the Tc, but is about 1 meter long, with a crescent and many bells (see images above). It is indeed a musical instrument, and may or may not have horsetails. There are many çevgenlar (plural) in the Mehter band and one can hear them well. I have seen it carried on the shoulder at a "slope swords" position or shaken up and down at about waist level. I saw it held at a "parade rest' sort of position, end on ground and old matey held it by the top. This I have seen in Izmir during the local victory day parades (9 September) [6]. I did not see anyone tamp them on the ground while playing. Although, I will admit this is possible.
Regarding the Turkish Musical Dictionary entry for Çevgân you reference above, note the differences in the description and use with the images, You Tube (not a permissible reference of course) and details in other sources.
The Tuğlar (plural, 9 each and no visible bells, but horsetails); and Hücum Tuğ (aka Tc) is carried by the respective bearers in a holster like thing of leather. Neither of these are shaken or twirled, nor would they be. The Tc produces a jingle by the marching movement of the bearer only.
The Mehterbaşı (literally Mehter Head), conducts the band with a mace, baton or sceptre like thing called asası (see images and film clips). I would say it is shorter than 1 meter in length, has some plumes on it and a finial. I do not believe it has bells; and if it does they are concealed in the finial. Note the asası looks as if it is not long enough to be stamped on the ground due to its short length. I saw it used in the manner of a conductors baton. You can see this asası at various Mehter gear websites mentioned in first paragraph of "Still more OR" above. The videos confirm this. Is it possible there is an error at the Turkish Musical Dictionary ?
I further concede that an object similar to and called Tc is used in orchestras as evidenced by the You Tube links you have provided here. In the clip I watched I only heard the stomping sound old matey made with the thing, no bells heard, and the object was surely at least 2 metres in height. I also agree this is done in many Occidental bands and orchestras with an object such as a Tc. I also saw the whirling Schellenbaum-like object as carried by the German municipal band at You Tube.
What I believe is in the Mehter band the Tc is a standard, not a musical instrument, regardless of how it was or is used in, or referred to Occidental bands and orchestras. Furthermore I opine that the çevgen is being confused with Tuğ, Hücum Tuğ (aka Tc) and asası and has been for ages. You've got a friend in Pennsylvania Tjlynnjr (talk) 10:51, 2 August 2014 (UTC) .

The Prowley Thesis[edit]

See above section "Some references", lines 6, 7, & 20 which refer to the Prowley Thesis. Note that this paper was written in 1968, so there is no present-day info on Mehter. Also, the paper contains many mis-spellings, perhaps the author was not familiar with the German and Turkish languages. It is nevertheless a handsome work. Eastman School of Music at UR does not admit dumb-asses, unless they have heaps of money and "endow a chair" or whatever it is called.

  • See Prowley Thesis Part 1 of 2, pp 19, 20, 25, 52, 53, 58, & 59 for info on tuğ and Tc.
  • See Prowley Thesis Part 2 of 2, pp 79, 80 & 81.
  • See Appendix, note what it contains and does not contain. NB: Chaghana (sic); is an Anglicization of the Persian/Farsi word (in Turkish phonetics) for çağana or çağanak; known in Turkish as çevgen or çevgân. Recall that Atatürk purged the Turkish language of Arabic and Farsi terms (for the most part) as one of his reforms.
  • Here. Retrieved: 2 August 2014.

The Prowley Thesis supports my views. Namely, the Tc is a standard, not a musical instrument in the Mehter band. I do acknowledge others may use it for various purposes and have given it many names. Hücum Tuğ is difficult to pronounce for the non-Turkish speaking individual. The Tc was present at the Sultan (s) or Padişah (s) tent on the battlefield regardless whether the Mehteran were deployed or not.

NB: I have never read the Prowley Thesis until today, so I have not used it as a reference until now. Her Şey Vatan İçin Tjlynnjr (talk) 23:30, 2 August 2014 (UTC).

Royal Swedish Life Guard usage[edit]

The Royal Swedish Life Guard musicians use a Turkish Crescent which is called "Mohammedsfana". It was established in Sweden by King Charles XII in the early 1700's. Here is an image of one: [7] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:57, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Smurfling Johnny[edit]

The "Jingling Johnny" is in the Smurf Band. Google: Smurf Band images. In Smurf episode The Three Smurfketeers (Season 2, No.7 in season and No. 33 in series) which originally aired October 2, 1982, the Smurf Band is playing at the beginning of the epiosde with "Jingling Johnny". Çok Smurfalim Tjlynnjr (talk) 04:08, 21 September 2015 (UTC) .