How to Choose the Right Tar for Your Musical Journey

Posted on by Sedigheh Hashemitousi

How to Choose the Right Tar for Your Musical Journey

The tar is a beautiful and versatile instrument that can enrich your musical experience. Whether you are interested in Persian classical music, Azerbaijani folk music, or simply want to explore a new sound, the tar can offer you a lot of possibilities. But how do you choose the right tar for your needs? In this article, we will give you some tips and advice on what to look for when purchasing a tar, as well as introduce you to a great place where you can find quality tars and other musical instruments.

What is a Tar?

The tar is a long-necked, waisted lute that originated in Iran and spread to other regions of the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. The name tar means “string” in Persian, and it traditionally refers to the number of strings on the instrument. For example, the dutar has two strings, the setar has three strings, and the cartar has four strings. However, this is not always the case, as some modern tars have more strings than their names suggest.

The body of the tar is made from a single piece of mulberry wood that is carved into a double-bowl shape. The top of the body is covered with a thin membrane of lamb-skin or ox pericardium. The neck is long and flat, with 25 to 28 adjustable gut frets. The pegbox has six or eleven wooden tuning pegs of different sizes, depending on the number of strings.

The strings of the tar are made from metal and are tuned in different ways depending on the style of music. The most common tuning for the Persian tar is C-G-C, with three courses of double strings and one bass string that runs outside the fingerboard. The most common tuning for the Azerbaijani tar is C-G-C-F-A-D, with five courses of double strings and one bass string.

The tar is played with a small brass plectrum that is held in the right hand. The plectrum is used to pluck the strings in both directions, as well as create tremolos and vibratos. The left hand presses the strings against the frets to produce different notes.

What to Look for When Purchasing a Tar

There are many factors to consider when buying a tar, such as:


1. The size and shape of the body: The body of the tar should be comfortable to hold and fit your body size. The shape of the body can affect the sound quality and resonance of the instrument. Some tars have more rounded bodies, while others have more angular bodies.

2. The quality and condition of the wood: The wood of the tar should be solid, smooth, and free from cracks or defects. The wood should also be well-seasoned and aged to prevent warping or shrinking. The color and grain of the wood can also affect the aesthetic appeal of the instrument.

3. The quality and condition of the membrane: The membrane of the tar should be tight, even, and intact. The membrane should not have any holes, tears, or stains. The membrane should also be properly glued to the body and not loose or sagging.

4. The quality and condition of the neck: The neck of the tar should be straight, smooth, and aligned with the body. The neck should not have any bends, twists, or cracks. The frets should be well-spaced and level with the fingerboard. The frets should not be worn out or damaged.

5. The quality and condition of the pegbox: The pegbox of the tar should be sturdy, stable, and secure. The pegbox should not have any cracks or splits. The tuning pegs should be well-fitted and easy to turn. The tuning pegs should not be loose or wobbly.

6. The quality and condition of the strings: The strings of the tar should be clean, shiny, and free from rust or corrosion. The strings should also be well-tensioned and tuned to the desired pitch. The strings should not be broken or frayed.

Where to Buy a Tar

If you are looking for a place where you can buy a quality tar at a reasonable price, visit our shop in Markham. Rhythm Music Shop is a family-owned business that specializes in Persian musical instruments, such as tars, setars, santurs, dafs, neys, tonbaks, violins, guitars and more.

We serve Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and the rest of the GTA, providing excellent customer service, expert advice, and professional repairs. We also offers online and in-store shopping.