National Iranian Music 25/05/2018

Traditional music is a part of any culture, but when it comes to ancient civilizations, national music is of particular value. Traditional Iranian music can be described as unique: in notes one can feel the pallet of birds on the mountain peaks and the vastness of the desert, feel all the beauty of the east and imbued with its spirit. In the creation of traditional Iranian music, several musical instruments take part. Today we will talk about them.


Iranian Musical Instrument tombak

The history of the musical instrument is connected with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Tombak is a solid wood drum. For the production of the instrument a walnut or maple is used. The drum is covered with the skin of a goat, calf or camel. The drum decorated with carvings or embellishments.

Playing the instrument requires skills. To get the sound you need, the musician uses different techniques up to putting on rings or playing with fingernails. Until the XX century the tombak wasn’t performed solo in traditional Iranian music. And only later the musicians began to perform solo on the drum.

Tombak is a traditional instrument that accompanies traditional sports zurkhaneh. Active music creates mood for dance.


Iranian Musical Instrument daf

Tombak is often accompanied with percussion instrument daf. Daf represents a tambourine measuring 55 cm in wood or copper alloy. It is covered with goat skin, with metal rings and bells on edges.

With the help of daf musicians can produce the quietest and even the loudest sounds. The musician throws and overturns the daf playing with fingers and palms.

Musical instruments similar to daf were known as early as the VII – VIII centuries BC. Initially, the tool had a rectangular shape. Over time, daf has acquired a modern look, which is used to this day.


Iranian Musical Instrument ney

The wind instrument is translated as “reed”. A reed is used for the production of tool: the plant must be at least three years old, otherwise it is not suitable to become a musical instrument.

The length of instrument is not more than 80cm, it has eight holes, metal nozzles are put on the end. Ney is performed with a daf.


Iranian Musical Instrument santur

For the first time santur was mentioned among the Assyrians. Later, the Persians adopted the instrument and made it part of traditional Iranian music. The tool is made of walnut. It has 72 steel and brass strings for different sounds. The musician plays on santura with the help of small hammers.


Iranian Musical Instrument tambour

Tambour is considered the progenitor of stringed instruments. The name of the instrument was first mentioned in the era of the Sassanids. Tambur is more famous in the provinces of Kurdistan, Kermanshah and Luristan. The best masters of the production of the tambour live in Kermanshah. For the production of the instrument mulberry and apricot tree is used.


Iranian Musical Instrument tar, dothar, setar

The main instrument of traditional Iranian music is tar. String instrument looks like two hearts combined together. Tar has six strings, which are played with the help of a mediator.

Dothar has only two strings and looks like a pear in shape. The strings are played with the help of nails.

In appearance, the setar is similar to dothar, but has four strings. Initially, the instrument had three strings and therefore was called setar (the word means three strings). Later, another string was added.


Iranian Musical Instrument qamanche

The Iranian violin is made of walnut, has 24 strips of mulberry. On the front side the instrument is wrapped with the sheep skin. Qamanche originally had three strings, in the XX century there was added another string.

Qamanche always had a special place in the culture of Iran. Gentle sounds of qamanche can touch a heart; the music sounds like a person’s voice.

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