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The love Viola- Viola D'amore

Alper Asutay


Interview: Muhammet Zahit İpek


At the 17th and 18th centuries -known as the Baroque Era-, this mysterious instrument, known as Viola d'Amore (Love Viole) in the European Baroque Music environment, was first seen in the Ottoman court music instrument groups with Kemani Corci in the middle of the 18th century.


The origins of sine violin comes from Europe and its roots are known to depend to Central Asia and Turkey.  The initial form of sine violin is known to be 5-wired (no harmony wire). The latter forms were fabricated with 6 or 7 wires including the harmony wire.


Sine violin means, a violin that is played above the chest. Sine violin is called “viola d'amore” in Europe. Sine violin is the first of its type to be played in the Ottoman palace. Kemani Hızır Ağa1 is also known to play sine violin after Kemani Corci2.  (1 Kemani Hızır Ağa (?-1799?) The most important musician, composer, musicologist, violinist of 18th century when the Turkish Classical Music hit the peak.


Kemani Corci (?-1805) Known also as Âmâ Corci because he was visually impaired. He was mentioned a lot at the time of. Mahmut. It is thought that he died at the beginning of. Selim period. He was playing sine violin before meeting western violin owing to a French musician, and then he started to play western violin. He is also known to play at Enderun.) In fact, Kemani Hızır Ağa, in his famous book “Tefhîmü’l-Makāmât Fî Tevlîdi’n-Nagamât”, talked about the sine violin and gave information about the tuning of this instrument.


It was played by “Turkish Chamber Music” instrument group gratifiedly but had lost its popularity over time due to challenge in tuning and playing with respect to to the 4 stringed violin.


We asked Alper Asutay, one of the leading violin performers of our country, about this mysterious and beautiful instrument.