an indepth look

The history of tar

The tar, a plucked string instrument, holds a rich and captivating history deeply rooted in Persian culture. Its origins can be traced back over two millennia to ancient Persia, known today as Iran. The word "tar" itself means "string" in Persian, reflecting its fundamental essence. The instrument's design and construction have evolved over time, with early versions featuring a bowl-shaped body made of mulberry wood and a long neck adorned with frets made of gut or silk.

The tar has held a significant place in Persian classical music, accompanying epic poetry recitations and courtly performances. Its entrancing melodies and intricate playing techniques have inspired countless musicians and composers throughout history, making it an emblem of Persian musical heritage. Today, the tar remains a beloved and cherished instrument, continuing to enchant listeners worldwide with its timeless beauty and soul-stirring melodies.


how it is made

Crafting a tar is a meticulous and intricate process that requires the expertise of skilled artisans. The instrument begins with the selection of high-quality wood, typically mulberry or walnut, for the body. The bowl-shaped body is meticulously carved and shaped, creating the resonating chamber that gives the tar its distinct sound. The neck, often made of walnut or other hardwoods, is attached to the body, and frets made from gut or nylon are carefully positioned along the neck.

The tar is adorned with a bridge, which supports the strings and transmits their vibrations to the body. The strings, traditionally made from silk or brass, are meticulously tied to tuning pegs at the headstock, allowing for precise tuning. Finally, the tar is finished with intricate decorative inlays and patterns, often using materials such as mother-of-pearl or bone. The craftsmanship and attention to detail invested in creating a tar result in a visually stunning instrument that possesses a unique and resonant voice, ready to inspire musicians and captivate audiences for generations to come.


The sound of tar


The sound of setar


How it is played

Playing the tar is a graceful and intricate art that demands both technical skill and emotional expression. The musician plucks the strings using a plectrum, known as "mezrab," held between the thumb and index finger of the right hand. The left hand presses down on the frets along the neck, allowing for precise control over pitch and ornamentation. The tar player employs a variety of techniques, including rapid strumming, delicate fingerpicking, and melodic glissandos.

The instrument's rich tonal range enables the musician to create a wide array of expressive melodies, exploring both melancholic and joyful emotions. With each stroke of the strings, the tar player weaves intricate melodic patterns, complementing vocal performances or taking center stage in instrumental compositions. The virtuosity and sensitivity of the player bring forth the full potential of the tar, evoking a captivating tapestry of Persian musical traditions and inviting listeners on a mesmerizing journey through its enchanting soundscapes.

Shop for tar

Shop now for a handmade Tar and experience the beauty of Persian music.

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