Sipsi made of bamboo
Woodwind instrument

single-reed aerophone
Hornbostel–Sachs classification 422.211.2
(single reed instrument with cylindrical bore and fingerholes)
Playing range

1.5 octaves[1]
Related instruments

Clarinet, Diplica, Dili tuiduk, cifte, kaval

Hüseyin DEMİR, Ali Teken, Hayri Dev

The sipsi (pronounced [sipˈsi]) is a Turkish woodwind instrument. It is a clarinet-like, single-reed instrument used mainly in folk music. The word "sipsi" is possibly onomatopoeic. The Redhouse Turkish-English dictionary defines "sipsi" as "1. prov. whistle; boatswain's pipe. 2. reed (of a clarinet)."

that fits into the opening (lips) of a zurna.]" No link is made in either dictionary to any other Turkish word. The sipsi, however, is an instrument native to the Aegean region of Turkey, which has a millennia-old history of sea-faring, hence the reasonable association with the bosun's pipe.[5]

The sipsi can be made of bone, wood, or reed, though the

is most common. Its size varies from region to region, but it generally contains five finger holes in the front, and one finger hole in the back.

The sipsi is one of many reed instruments in Turkey used to play lead melodies in instrumental folk music. It is generally played in the Western part [1] in the Aegean Region of Turkey.[2] Most folk tunes played in this area with the sipsi are in 9/8 time.[1][3]


The timbre of the sipsi is similar to that of the Irish bagpipe, and players of the sipsi also employ the circular breathing method, in which air is breathed through the nose while it is being pumped out of stored air in the cheeks. This breathing method is used to form an uninterrupted sound.[1]

To tune the sipsi, one must wrap a thread around the bottom of the reed, which is placed into the main body of the instrument. Adjusting the reed with the string is the way to tune.[1] The instrument's range is greater than its six finger holes would suggest, the upper registers can be attained by particular approach to breathing.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Instruments". Group Istanbul. Group Istanbul. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  2. Akdeniz, Tayyar. "Sipsi- Turkish Music Instruments- Folk Tours". Folk Tours. Folk Tours LLC. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  3. Reinhard, Kurt; Martin Stokes. "Turkey: II Folk Music, 4 Instrumental Music". Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 2011-09-29.

[6] Redhouse Türkçe/Osmanlıca-İngilizce Sözlüğü, 14th edition (1999), Istanbul, Turkey. ISBN 975-8176-11-0. Retrieved 2015-12-13.

[7] Türkçe Sözlük [Turkish Dictionary]. Expanded 7th edition (1983). Türk Dil Kurumu Yayınları [Turkish Language Association Publications], Ankara, Turkey. Retrieved 2015-12-13.

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