Common makamlar

A list of makamlar is given below together with their associated seyir (in brackets) - just click on each makam for more detailed information. The most common makamlar are highlighted in bold. For a key to the oud fingering diagrams that appear on each maqam page, see below. The makamlar are classified as basic (basit), transposed (göçürülmüş/şed) or compound (bileşik/mürekkeb). A transposed makam contains the same interval structure as one of the basic makamlar but starts on a different base note. A compound makam is constructed from two or more simpler makamlar.

Note: There are many variations on the spellings of the names of Turkish makamlar, but those below are as given in the book "Türk Musıkisi Dersleri" by Zeki Yılmaz.

Basic makamlar

Transposed makamlar

Compound makamlar


Key to fingering diagrams

Each of the above pages includes a fingering diagram, which shows where the notes of the makam are played on the neck of the oud. The oud is viewed from above, so that the uppermost string corresponds to the highest string on the oud (the 6th string of the oud is not shown as the tuning of this string may vary depending on the makam). The tuning I have used is the standard Turkish tuning of F2-B2-E3-A3-D4 (low to high), which is actually notated as B-E-A-D-G. On the diagram, black ovals indicate the 'base' note of the maqam and white ovals indicate the other notes. Ovals to the left of the nut indicate that the note produced by the corresponding 'open' string is also part of the scale. An arrow inside a note indicates that it is modified in the descending part of the scale to the note shown by a red oval. The roman numerals along the top of the neck indicate the standard positions on the neck used in oud methods (and show where the notes C, D, E, etc. of the Western scale fall) - the separation in commas between these positions is marked below the neck. The vertical dotted lines indicate 1 comma either side of these standard positions.

Example - Rast makamı:



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