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index / The piano of Turkish Music Kanun
Turkish novelist Kemal Tahir describes the kanun humorously as 'a spider's web which large flies rip right through, while small flies are trapped.’ He also refers to it as ‘Artaki's instrument,' Artaki being a celebrated Armenian kanun player at the beginning of the 20th-century. Closely resembling the zither, the kanun has many strings stretched across a wooden sound box, to whose edges it is attached by pegs.

Since musical instruments were born and evolved with human beings, establishing their origin with precision is extremely difficult. Some sources attribute the invention of the kanun to the renowned Islamic scholar Farabi, who lived in Turkistan in the 10th century. Albert Lavignac says in his musical dictionary and encyclopaedia that the kanun was an invention of the Arabs, while others say that this instrument was developed much earlier in Central Asia by the Turks, who carried it westwards with them into Anatolia. It is also said to have found its way to Arabia via Iran.
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