"The sleigh-bells, vigorously shaken, strike up their familiar janissary music"

   The Janisseries (from Ottoman Turkish يکيچرى Yeniçeri  meaning "new soldier") were an elite corps who served as personal guards to sultans of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries.  Members of this force also formed the core of the empire’s military marching bands, amongst the oldest known examples in the world.  The distinctive Mehter style of music they produced combined many instruments, including something called the çevgan which, when shaken, makes a sound resembling sleigh-bells. 


Ottoman army music from early 17th century: