Davul Zurna

Davul Zurna (Drum & Oboe)

Davul Zurna

The davul is almost always played with two zurnas, hence the term "davul zurna". Davul zurna was used by the Musa Daghians in Musa Dagh before they were relocated to Anjar. It was used for outdoor dancing during festivities such as weddings and for the reception of a person of note. The Musa Daghian davul zurna is different from the Armenian davul zurna. The Armenian davul, called dhol, is smaller and it is almost always played by the hands. And unlike the Armenian zurna the Musa Daghian zurna is a quarter-tone instrument. Today the Musa Daghian davul zurna is mainly played in Anjar, Lebanon and Musa Ler Avan, Armenia.


The davul, also known as dhol, is a large double-headed cylindrical drum. It is widely used in Turkey and many other countries in the Middle East. The davul is made by joining the ends of a large wooden plank and fitting circular hoops internally at both ends of the cylinder. The heads of the davul are usually made of shaved sheepskin or goatskin, one being thicker than the other. The davul player uses two beaters: a heavy beater called jglun (or tokmak) used on the thicker head, and a smaller lighter beater used on the other head.


It is an oboe widely used in the Middle East, Southeast Europe and parts of Asia. The Musa Daghian zurna is about 45 cm long. It is a quarter-tone instrument played with a double reed with a pirouette. The zurna is an outdoor instrument, bright, powerful and brilliant in tone. Zurna players use "circular breathing", which enables the player to blow while breathing continuously. The instrument is physically hard to play and it depends on the skill of the player and his ability to master the instrument's technique.

Famous Davul Zurna Players

Today as in the past there are only a few good Musa Daghian davul zurna players around the world. The best players can be found in Anjar, where the traditional folk instruments are the only instruments played during weddings and ceremonies to entertain the people. The following picture was taken in Musa Dagh (1920's).

Giragos Khoshian, davul player.
Agop (Devedj) Tossunian, zurna player.
Garabed Tossunian, zurna player.

Folk Dances of Musa Dagh and Anjar Played on the Davul Zurna

The following are in MIDI file format.

Click Here To Listen To A Short Segment in WAV format