Tar,dutar, tanbur, tambour,târ or tambirName: Tar
Origin: Central Asia
The meaning of the word târ is simply string (or stringed) and the word is originating from Central-Asia.
The tar is widely spread in Central Asia. It is found in Azerbeidjan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Tzadikistan, Kyrgysistan, Kazachstan, Iran and western China. The Uyghur of the Chinese province Xinjiang are a muslim people. The uygur play the tar or dutar on special occasions to accompany singing and dancing.
The târ e Khavkaz is the Causcasian variant of this six stringed instrument.
The Azerbaijani Tar has more strings in comparison than the Iranian or Persian târ A tanbur is a musical instrument made of wood with five strings. the tanbur is normally played alone, but sometimes it can also be played accompanied by playing the rawap or rabab or/and percussion. On ancient engravings the tanbur looks like a saz or baglama.
In Persian, the term dutar or dotar means two strings with do meaning two, and tar meaning string. Do is even reflected in the french word for two "deux" (almost pronounced as do). The form of the dotar varies from country to country as well as the number of strings but generally the duttar is made of mulberry wood with two strings. The same instrument is called dombra in Kazachstan but the dombra is also very popular in other Central Asian nations.
The oldest string instrument in northern-eastern Afghanistan is the tar. The simplest appearance of this instrument has two strings which is still found in the villages of Nuristan. The songs and melodies that the people of Nuristan sing have not altered when they were first sang four thousand years ago and they where and are accompanied with the string instrument known as tar.
In Ariana, ancient Afghanistan, this type of musical instrument was called wanaa. This instrument was played at the court of Yama, the first king of Ariana, four thousand years ago. It was used in the performande of the attan (dance) as well as accompanied the sung legends, tales and history.
As much as three types of dutar were played in and around the Afghani town of Herat. This instrument evolved form 2 to 3, 4 and even to 14-stringed versions.