everything about Persian tar such as Persian tar definition, history
1. Persian Tar Definition Tar is a plucking instrument with 3 sets of strings. The word "Târ" means string in the Persian language which can be seen both in the music writings and poetries of the Medieval Iran. Persian Tar or "Târ-e Shirâz" is a plucked string instrument with a long-necked lute includes some frets tied on the neck and a stretched vibrating string called Chordophones to make the initial sound. In this instrument a plectrum is used to pluck or strum the instrument which is played with a pick or fingernail. 2. Tar instrument history Form in the middle of the eighteenth century when the present form of Tar was developed, Iranians classical masters consider Tar as the "sultan of instruments." In some paintings in the Chehelsotun building from the Shah Abas Safavid time, a string instrument like the tar is observed. However, the oldest image of the present form of tar dates found in a painting of Naser al-din Shah Qajar time. In this painting Mirza Ali Akbar Khan Farahani is teaching the tar to some people at the court. Probably, the creation of this instrument dates back to 200 or 250 years ago. 3. Persian tar strings The Persian tar used to have five strings. The sixth string was added to the tar by Darvish Khan. This string is today's fifth string of the Iranian tar. Persian Tar has three courses made up of two metal strings each. • White Strings: The first and second string from down to up in the first course with 0.18 mm or 0.20 mm thicknesses or gauges are tuned in unison and made of steel. • Yellow Strings: The third and fourth string from down to up in the second course with 0.20 mm or 0.22 mm thicknesses or gauges are tuned in unison and made of Bronze or Phosphor-Bronze. • The fifth and sixth strings from down to up in the third course are tuned in an octave with two different tones. Drone String The thinner string of the third course made of steel with 0.18 mm or 0.20 mm thicknesses or gauges Bass String The thicker string of the third course made of Bronze or Phosphor-Bronze with 0.35 or 0.40 mm thicknesses or gauges. 4. Persian tar music & Tuning Persian Tar which is the most complete and advanced instrument in traditional Iranian music has a uniquely beautiful and sad tune with features like resonance, voluminous sound and broad technical range in Iranian musical systems and modes. Persian Tar is played using a brass pick with the length of 3 cm (approx.) and sound scale of 2.5 octaves. The tonal center or the base tone of the starting piece of any "Dastgâh" has a great role in tuning the Persian Tar. The long and narrow neck has ends in an elaborate peg box with six wooden tuning pegs of different dimensions, adding to the decorative effect. Each pair singing strings tuned in unison tuned in fourths (C, G, C) plus one "flying" bass string tuned in G, an octave lower than the singing middle course that runs outside the pig box and passes over an extension of the nut. Every String has its own tuning peg and is tuned independently. The most common tones for white strings are "c" and for the yellow strings are "g". The drone and bass strings are considered tuning strings. 5. Persian Tar Players The most famous Iranian musicians in the past one hundred years have been the tar players. Some of the most skillful of them are: • Mirza hosseyn qoli(1851-1915), Dastgah: shur ,Persian tar solo • Darvish xan(qolam hosseyn darvish 1872-1926), Dastgah: homayun, Persian tar solo 6. Persian tar structure Wood, animal skin, bones and metal are used in its construction. Its length is about 1 m. The main parts of Tar are: - Body The body is a double-bowl shape carved from mulberry or walnut wood, with a thin lambskin face covering the top. The animal skin is stretched over the body as one half is bigger than the other. The smaller bowl is called “Naqareh” and the bigger one “Shekam”. After putting together the two halves of the bowl, the neck and then the Sarpanje or peg box will be added to them as well. - Neck The length of the neck is 45 to 50 cm, and it is usually decorated by two parallel rows of bones with a dark wooden ribbon between them. In recent years, some bridges are made out of plastic. The long and narrow neck has a flat peg box running level to the membrane and ends in an elaborate box with six wooden pegs of different dimensions. - Peg box or Sarpanje There are two kinds of peg box made of two rows of camel bone between a row of Areca wood for the tar, the traditional one and the new one designed by Master Qanbari Mehr. - Plectrum or pick Peg box has twenty-five to twenty-eight adjustable gut frets and the three double strings are played with a plectrum or pick made of brass and honeycomb with the length of 3 cm. The half of the plectrum is covered by wax so that the player can hold it easily. Recently some plastic plectrums have been produced too. - Frets Pressing a string against a fret determines the strings' vibrating length and therefore its resultant pitch. Persian Tar frets are mostly made of gut, embedded around the neck and located at the points that are determined according to the ears of the musicians. Every fret consists of 3 or 4 threads according to the tradition. The frets are moveable to get a new arrange of frets. Frets worn down from heavy use can be replaced. Some Persian Tar players and makers use frets made of nylon or metal. The frets indicate the location of the notes and made of the sheep gut. There are 3 different sizes of Tar: • Classic model 4/4 • ¾ model • ½ model 7. Persian Tar Style In the past several decades there have been three styles of playing the tar in Iran: The Traditional style, The New Style, The Radio style •The Traditional style This style was prevalent in the Qajar period. Since 1921 the tar was held on the chest, while later it was brought down on the legs. Also, some changes occurred in its structure. Some recordings left from the two great masters Mirza Abdollah and Mirza Hussein Qoli Farahani would be fit in the framework of the Traditional style. •The New Style The fast tremolos, arpeggios, passages, and usage of chords were some characteristics of this style. Vaziri has a great influence on this style of playing solo. •The Radio Style When the Iranian National Radio was established in 1940, some musicians entered this organization and gradually a different style of playing the tar. In the radio style a single strong pick would not hear. Also, the tremolos were slower and the musical sentences were clearer. 8. Family Instruments This is claimed to be the root of the names of the bass tar, Azari tar, setar and the guitar as well as less widespread instruments such as the dutar and the Indian sitar. Azerbaijan is the only province of Iran in which a local tar is played beside the Persian tar. In the history books and documents, this instrument is called “the Qafqazi tar”. In the past there were instruments which were called the shish tar, panj tar (Five Strings), and chahar tar (four Strings) which is related to the number of the strings in each instrument.
The fittest Iranian instrument
The fittest Iranian instrument “Tar” and “Sitar”are the fittest Iranian instruments. And like their corresponded singers their vocals varies from 3rdocta to the 5th. But there are some notes about the low and high voices that should be considered: The elders used to believe everything which is needed for the prosperity of men, has been given to him via different means and exceeding those capabilities would be harmful and unproductive for him. For instance the normal human beings voice is varied between the 3 steps mentioned above and exceeding that is unusual but effective. Exceeding this of range lower than 70 Hz and above 1000Hz would disturb the nerves, bore and frustrate the audience or cause him vain excitement and anger. There are two types of playing in Iran: The first is exclusive for those intellectuals who play not for business but as a hobby to produce spiritual emotions and practice the science and the mythology of music. The second is aimed for the public which is to amuse and provoke dim feelings of joy or sorrow. This one is referred as entertainment music. The main differences are: Intellectual music: creative, various, fresh and new, harmonic, spiritual, abstract. Entertainment music: repetitive, imitative, ordinary, antonymous pretending, sensual. The main difference in original music is creativity, so that an hour of elaborate and creative play can tire a skillful player greatly. On the contrary entertainment music doesn’t need any creativity so the player can shuffle through a couple of memorized notes and songs like a machine for as long as needed. Also this repetition can bring about a great deal of skill for the player but again, it doesn’t need much care and elegance for being played for the common crowd with no distinctive attention to the music. That’s why a common player usually tunes his instrument carelessly, while, an original player gives great care to his instruments well beingan tuning. The entertainment music usually looks for exiting and antonymous tunes, while the original music is all about harmony. Its fan usually enjoy the beauty and harmony of it which calms the spirit and changes the heart. An hour of listening to this music is enough to satisfy the listener. The entertainment music is all about looks and desires, but the original music cares about spirit and soul. Radif (order) playing in Iranian music Order playing indicates playing all the orders of Iranian music with great care and correctness. This is the great achievement of Iranian music. But there are some clarifications to make: Should a player only concentrate on playing the orders and forget the creativity? If your answer is yes then you face two eroded fact: the player will be downgraded to a mere machine of copying and playing soulless notes 2.if we only keep on playing the orders, nothing new would ever be produced. Habib Samaie, wasn’t an order player, but once he would start playing, no master orderplayer would dare to touch his instrument. His plays were smooth, meaningful and soft on ear touch. his playing’s were like the poems of the prominent master of speech, Sa’adi. And we know that Persian grammar is known by his words not vice versa. Abu nasrfarabi divides his prior players into 2 categories: The first ones were not as great as the second ones in the matter of production so they only repeated their works. And the second ones are the gifted ones who by using the knowledge of those prior to themselves, produced the most admiring music. Side text* ((18th of Zihaje (September) , the day of cooking Ash in the town)) Right to left: Hassan Karim Kur and Gholi Khan players of “Kamanche” are seated, SamaHozur, his hands on his leg. The greatest player of dulcimer at the 1800s, and the father of Habib Samaie, one of the gratest players of early 1900s. the most important player of the group is Mohammad sdegh khan who is seated infront of everyone. And sire Hassan gholi and sirAbdollah “Tar” players are seated by him. Sire Golamhossein “Kamanche player and Samahozur’s father with an invented instruments are the next ones. zaktoo.com persian music source