The Çifteli (Definite Albanian form: Çiftelia) is an Albanian wooden, largely acoustic string instrument, with only two strings (in Albanian, çifteli means "paired").[1][2]

The çifteli is commonly used by Albanian folk musicians as well as other modern musicians and is played by Albanians at weddings, concerts, national events, and other occasions. Especially important is its role in the accompanying of the Albanian epic ballads, such as the Albanian Songs of the Frontier Warriors (Albanian: Rapsodi Kreshnike) of Gjergj Elez Alia or Muji e Halili: in this regard the instrument may replace the lahuta.[3]

The size and scale length of various Çiftelias may differ from one another. The Çiftelia is often tuned to that of the same pitch as the two highest strings on the guitar, strings E and B. Usually the lower string is played as a drone, with the melody played on the higher string. The Çiftelia is a fretted instrument, but unlike most it does not have one fret per semitone, but rather one fret per note in a seven note diatonic scale. Seven frets up is the octave of the open string.[citation needed]

Çitfeli, the word, taken from Turkish. Çifteli=çifte+li; çifte means double. Anadolu has the dance melody "Çiftetelli" means "Double Stringed" although it lost the meaning in the dance context. The same instrument "çifteli" is not in use nowadays in Central Asia and Anadolu but in ancient forms we came across with the word "ıklığ" which used by ancestors of Turks. By some authors ıklığ mentioned as "ikilik=iki+lik" iki means two and in context the whole word means "two string". That seems Albanian culture borrows this instrument directly from Turks because of word itself, usage of instrument and musical hearings in form, tempo and modes. Think that it would be dutar, in which du means two and tar means string. (Serdar Erkan)

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