The tar is a plucked-stringed  instrument as a long-necked lute.  It is played  in  Persia, Caucasian countries, and central Asia. It exists in two forms, the Persian (called tar-e-Shiraz, or Persian) and the Caucasian (called tar-e-Qafqaz).


The Persian tar is carved from a block of mulberry wood and has a deeply curved body with two bulges shaped like a human torso. The upper surface is shaped like two hearts of different sizes, joined at the points. The sound box consists of two parts. The small part is called naghareh and the large part is called kasseh (literally, bowl). The sound box is covered with lambskin.


On the lower skin, a horn bridge supports six metal strings in three courses. The long fingerboard has twenty-two to twenty-eight movable gut frets. The strings are plucked with a brass plectrum coated on one side in wax. Its range of the tar is about two-and-a-half octaves.



Photo: Behrouz Jamali 2005)