The Zurna (also called Surnay, birbynė, lettish horn, surla, sornai, zournas, zurma) is an Anatolian woodwind instrument. It is similar to the Mizmar. The Zurna had often been featured in the Ottoman military bands. Zurnas are also used in the folk music of the countries in the region, especially Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Armenia, Iran and the other Caucasian countries. It has origins in ancient Egypt, and has now spread throughout the Islamic world, China, and Eastern Europe. In Russian folk music, it is used in sad folk songs. It is often used in the music of Lithuania and Belarus, where bands such as Sutaras and Stary Olsa use them in traditional music. Use of zurna can be heard in the t.A.T.u. song "Stars".

Zurna The Zurna is most likely the immediate predecessor of the European Shawm as well as the Chinese Suona still used today in temple and funeral music. The Japanese charumera used by itinerant noodle vendors is a small zurna, its name deriving from the Portuguese chirimiya.

There are several types of zurnas. They all share one and the same sound inductor - the so called kalem - which is actually a very tight (and short) double reed, sometimes made out of wheat leaves. The Armenian zurna is the shortest type reaching only 15cm, and respectively it is has the highest pitch of all the zurna family. The longest (and lowest) is the Kaba zurna, used in northern Turkey and Bulgaria. As a rule of thumb, a zurna is conical and made of wood.

Etymology and terminology

Oldest Turkish records suruna in Codex Cumanicus(CCM fol. 45a) < Persian word that is combined of two parts:

   1. Sur = festival & red
   2. Nay / Na = Reed / Pipe ".

Terminology in Anatolia

Turkish terminology

1. Head and reed

    * zaynak Ankara
    * nazik Abdal
    * ula Uludağ
    * çatal Çankırı
    * zinak Diyarbakır - Kurdish
    * nezik Gaziantep
    * fasla Kırklareli
    * zaynak - Kurdish

2. Pipe

    * metef Ankara
    * metem Abdal
    * çığırdan Uludağ
    * demir Çankırı
    * bülbülük Diyarbakır
    * kanel Kırklareli
    * metef - Kurdish
    * lüle Sivas