Technical description: Two crescent-shape strips of brass suspended from brass fitting at top of varnished wooden carrying pole; 6 clapper bells attached to upper crescent, 4 clapper bells attached to lower crescent.
General usage of type: The Turkish crescent, or ~Çevgen~, has been a feature of the `Janissary' band, the band of the Sultan's guard in Istanbul from the 15th century to the 19th century. The tradition of janissary music has recently been revived, and the traditional instruments are now made again: this is a modern reproduction made for performance purposes, copied from originals in the Museum of the Janissary Band in Istanbul. The 18th century Janissary bands started a fashion for `Turkish Music' in Europe, and many composers such as Mozart and Beethoven introduced `Turkish' elements into their music, especially operas, at appropriate places. These elements of Turkish flavour were usually confined to bass drum and cymbals. However, some composers such as Berlioz wrote parts specifically for the Turkish Crescent, and numerous military bands of the early 19th century added them ~ad lib~ to their instrumentation, when they were colloquially known as `jingling johnnies'.
p.r. cooke, 1997.
Gift of Askeri Müze ve Kültür Sitesi (Museum of the Janissary Band in Istanbul), 1994.