His virtuosity, his melodious style, his rich and clear sonority, the tenderness of his mezrab (plectrum) all make Hakan Güngor a unique qanun player. Although he followed his father’s teachings as an oud player, he preferred to turn to European classical music studies, and gained a passion for composition, harmony and counterpoint at the Istanbul conservatory. If to start with, qanun was just a personal passion of his, his playing was soon so much appreciated that the oriental portion of his training, especially Ottoman music, gained the upper hand over European music. Hakan Güngör also worked with Kudsi Erguner from the 90’s, and has since taken part in concerts and CDs made in Europe and Turkey.
The qanun, a trapezoidal zither, has twenty-four tipple cords that are plucked using plectrums fixed to each index finger. A series of metal latches (mandals) make it possible to produce intervals nuanced according to the makams. The great philosopher Al Farabi is considered as the inventor of this instrument in the 10th century.