Name: Tar.

Type: Shiraz Tar > Rebab > Chordophone.

Region: Many > Iran > Central Asia & Caucasus.

Dimensions: Length of specimen cm.


Acquisition Date:

Acquisition Source: Mohamad Namazi.

Description: The tar [in farsi تار ] is a plucked long necked instrument that is shared among numerous cultures through out Iran, Central Asia, Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia) and Turkey. Owing much to the 19th century performances of Ali Akbar and Hoseyn Qoli. The tar is a relatively young instrument; although the Shiraz tar is the older of the two instruments. This instrument exists in two forms the Shiraz tar as being discussed here and the Ghafghaz tar. 
Construction: The tar belongs to the rebab family of musical instruments both of which share common feature; that is the rebab family of instruments have a membrane stretched over the body. The body and neck of the Shiraz tar are constructed from mulberry wood. The tar has a wasted body shaped like a figure eight.

The membrane is usually of sturgeon or lamb-skin. Bone usually covers the fingerboard. The Persian tar has 6 strings each being a paired course of three strings. The strings are steel and brass although of very thin diameters. 25 moveable frets are tied on to the neck. They divide the octave into 15 micro-tones. A thin small moveable bridge of goat horn rests in between the strings and membrane. A plectrum of brass and wax is used as it allows for very subtle techniques when playing the tar.

Citations: The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments by Stanley Sadie - Page 526 Tar. / Tar (Article).