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As an instrument of arabic/turkish/persian music, the qanun has, of course, microtonal cababilities built in, in the form of "mandals" (turkish) or "orabs" (arabic) - small levers that can change the pitch of a string slightly and can be raised or lowered quickly by the performer while the instrument is being played.

Here is an example how this is done (player is Julien Jalaleddine Weiss).

Since the qanun, even with mandals, is essentially a fixed-pitch instrument, a choice of the available pitches has to be made, so the qanun is a case for unequal temperaments for maqams. The art of tuning lies in the positioning of the mandals.

Turkish kanuns are traditionally tuned in (a subset of) 72edo .

Ozan Yarman's proposition for a maqam tuning in his dissertation(79-tone MOS subset of 159edo) was also realized on a qanun.

A number of qanun tunings were designed by Julien Jalaleddine Weiss. See tuning systems for qanun, or Stefan Pohlit's dissertation.

Homemade qanun ("canon") by Chris Vaisvil