View Full Version : Banjamandouke? Ukeabanjalin? Mandobanjauke? No! It's a Cumbus!

Habanera Hal
05-05-2015, 01:43 PM
A buddy loaned me this from his collection. It is a fretted eight string Turkish instrument known as a Cumbus.


From Wikipedia:

The cümbüş is a Turkish stringed instrument of relatively modern origin. It was developed in 1930 by Zeynel Abidin Cümbüş (1881–1947) as an oud-like instrument that could be heard as part of a larger ensemble.

The cümbüş is shaped like an American banjo, with a spun-aluminum resonator bowl and skin soundboard. Although originally configured as an oud, the instrument has been converted to other instruments by attaching a different set of neck and strings. The standard cümbüş is fretless, but guitar, mandolin and ukulele versions have fretboards. The neck is adjustable, allowing the musician to change the angle of the neck to its strings by turning a screw. One model is made with a wooden resonator bowl, with the effect of a less tinny, softer sound.

A picture of the inventor:
"Zeynel Abidin Cümbüş holding one of the instruments he invented from a newspaper clipping."

How he made it from a newspaper, I'll never know.

"Last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in them, I'll never know." - Groucho Marx

05-05-2015, 04:22 PM
I think, if you haven't tried, string it like an 8 string and make an 8 string banjolele

really sweet looking

05-05-2015, 05:14 PM
Very nice one. Was surprised when I learned it's pronounced "joombush" - I think

05-06-2015, 03:54 AM
The standard cümbüş is a 12-string guitar-sized instrument. What you have there is a mando-cümbüş. You can often find them on ebay pretty cheap. The standard cümbüş is fretless, and the fretted variants can have some dodgy fretwork. How does your friend's play?

Phil: "joombush" is pretty close to the correct pronunciation--"zhoombush" might be closer.

- FiL