Yayli Tambur

Yayli TamburNowadays the cümbüş has three different sized bodies and 6 different necks. It can be used as an oud. With a 1.2 meter neck it becomes a tambur of the classical Turkish music, where it can also played with a bow, so it is called "yayli tambur." With a little shorter neck it turns into the famous saz-cümbüş and with an even shorter neck to the small lute cura-cümbüş. For a western audience they offer the fretted twelve-string guitar-cümbüş and finally the mandolin-cümbüş.

In spite of that diversification, the cümbüş today is of less economic importance. Only 3,000 pieces a year leave the family's factory in Istanbul, run by Naci Abidin Cümbüş and his two sons Fethi and Alizeynel. The instruments are still hand made and sold for a surprisingly low price, as it was meant to be the people's instrument. Half of the production goes abroad, mostly to the United States, some to France and to Greece, mostly to supply open-minded musicians heading for unique sounds and new playgrounds. The other half still supports the traditional use of the cümbüş. The company also manufactures between 5,000 and 7,000 Darbukkas a year and even in their small shop they sell 5,000 guitars. But cümbüş is still the soul and the musical masterpiece of the house, which not only gave them their name and pride, but also gives a lot of cümbüş/fun to many musicians and their audiences.