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The Music

Near Eastern music can be an acquired taste. At first its subtleties are not obvious to the western ear. The music is highly improvisational; much of it consists of a single, simple melodic phrase which is layered with more and more elaborate ornamentation and accented by frequent "taksims" (improvisations). One of the more difficult aspects of Near Eastern music is the use of notes that fall "between the cracks" of the western chromatic scale. These sound odd or even out of tune to westerners, being slightly sharper or flatter than expected.

Instruments played by members of Sazlar include the oud and saz (stringed instruments), ney (end-blown flute), darbuka (ceramic drum), tar (frame drum), and def (tambourine), as well as the more familiar violin, keyboards, guitar, mandolin, and clarinet. All of the members are also singers and dancers.