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Difference between Arabic and Turkish musical notation?


Hello all

I have been learning the nay from a very talented Turkish teacher, focusing predominately on ilahis. Ideally once I'm more experienced I'd like to concentrate on Arabic music. Can anyone tell me if there is any difference between the Turkish notation and the Arabic for the nay? I have searched the internet and asked around but have had no definitive answers.

Any help appreciated, thank you :)


Please read this article:

It might help you understand.


Thanks for your reply, that was a good article and an awesome piece of music.

I guess what I'm trying to ask is are the notes written the same in both Arabic and Turkish written music?

Dear Alia
if you read ilahi notation. you understand that the names of the notes are actually positions on the ney, so sol concert on the page will be palyied by rast position when all holes are closed. same goes for arabic and turkish neys. turkish basic tuning is funny that way, they read sol on the page, but play re concert... because they play mostly on the area of mi hicaz, mi ussak, re rast re nihavent and so on, it varies concidering who is playing or singing.  the big orchestras usually do so... bolahenk ney is the one going these scales.
and by the way, many of the pieces played by accomplished arabic players are by turkish well known composers like tanburi jamil bey, or refik fersan.
many of the arab written notation ive encountered is written in concert.
so i will probably need a"notes translator" to fit it to the ney i want to play, again, under the circumstances

hope that helped you.
i'de be happy to clear any puzzles


Hi Niri

Thanks for your explanation, now I'm beginning to understand.

Yes I'm sure many Arabic players play pieces written by Turkish composers, I love both styles. My background is Egyptian so I feel a connection with the Arabic style which for me at least, sounds different. In particular I'd love to play some Um Kalsoum pieces, I hope one day I'm good enough!

All the best.


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