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Sorry, half language, half music question

In this Bağlama video the author seems to refer to a note by name "ES". Here is the transcript taken from a comment by author:

<!-- language-all: lang-none -->
ES Mİ Mİ FA Mİ Mİ DO - RE RE RE Mİ RE Mİ
ES Mİ Mİ FA Mİ Mİ DO - RE RE RE Mİ RE Mİ
ES Mİ Mİ FA Mİ Mİ DO - RE RE RE Mİ RE Mİ
ES DO RE RE RE Sİ - DO DO Sİ RE DO RE
ES DO Sİ RE DO DO Sİ - Sİ Sİ Sİ DO Sİ DO
ES Sİ LA DO Sİ Sİ LA LA

By exclusion it seems that SOL is missing, but to my sense of pitch it sounds more like the same note that the author calls "Mİ".

Looking at the orthography, I assume that might all be in Turkish so I looked up note names on the Turkish wiki but I did not notice any note named like that.

So what could it be? Maybe it is something like "root" or "bass"?

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  • I added the tag in the transcript because it was disappearing because of some JS renderer trying to interpret the notation.
    – Džuris
    Jun 22 at 21:20
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    Wow, I just learned a lot about Turkish music! But not a convincing answer. Watching with interest. For what it's worth, the "ES" pitch sounds more to me like "LA." Jun 22 at 21:44
  • According to Wikipedia, Turkish solfege is fixed do. I suspect es is a sharp or flat note, or possibly microtonal. Jun 22 at 22:37
  • "Es" is E-flat in German, but that fact clearly does not explain what's going on here.
    – phoog
    Jun 22 at 23:23
  • Could Es refer to La but in a lower octave? That’s what it sounds like in the video. The Es note sounds like it’s a perfect octave below the La note. Jun 23 at 0:33
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“Es” is definitely “la” (B) the relative minor of “do” (D) and is also the tonic since this is all in B minor. However, that syllable is used only for marking the beginning of phrases on downbeats with a bass note. When he plays his final “la” notes in the melody they are an octave higher and one or two are harmonized with a lower octave and/or a 5th.

It’s interesting that there is no “sol” anywhere like you mentioned. It seems like all the melodic material is above the “la” tonic and doesn’t go above “fa”.

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  • I thought in fixed do that do was C and la was A? Jun 23 at 2:11
  • @ToddWilcox I didn’t say it was fixed do and can’t say if they use fixed do or not but I listened and it is in B minor and “la” (or “es”) is the tonic. Could it be a transposing instrument? Jun 23 at 3:39
  • It could be that it's not tuned to A=440. The reason why I mentioned fixed do is not because you said it was fixed do, but because it's Turkish and the Turkish note naming system is fixed do. Jun 23 at 4:07
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    @ToddWilcox I did a little research out of curiosity and there are several different tunings used for this instrument and on top of that sometimes it is transposed. To me this means they might always think in the key of do/la but are actually playing in other keys. This means it’s not fixed do in the traditional sense where the pitch C is always C regardless of key. In the video the low string is tuned to a B which the player refers to as "es” but is actually the same pitch as “la” in the song. Jun 23 at 5:34
  • I agree with your synopsis! Sounds like it is in Bm, (A=440) and he's calling D 'do'. Could well be tuned out of 'concert pitch' (whatever that may be!) thus making 'es' the lower octave of 'la'. +1. Why it should have a different name, though - it's played on a lower open string, maybe?
    – Tim
    Jun 23 at 7:00

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