ⓘ Dutar


ⓘ Dutar

The dutar is a traditional long-necked two-stringed lute found in Iran and Central Asia. Its name comes from the Persian word for "two strings", دوتار do tār, although the Herati dutar of Afghanistan has fourteen strings. When played, the strings are usually plucked by the Uyghurs of Western China and strummed and plucked by the Tajiks, Turkmen, Uzbeks. Related instruments include the Kazakh dombra. The Dutar is also an important instrument among the Kurds of Khorasan amongst whom Haj Ghorban Soleimani of Quchan was a noted virtuoso. In Kormanji one who plays the dutar is known as a bakci, while in Azeri the term is ashiq. Khorasan bakhshi music is recognized on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

At the time of the Dutars humble origins in the 15th century as a shepherds instrument its strings were made from gut. However, with the opening up of the Silk Road, catgut gave way to strings made from twisted silk imported from China. To this day some instruments still feature silk strings, although nylon strings are also commonly used.

The dutar has a warm, dulcet tone. Typical sizes for the pear-shaped instrument range from one to two meters.


1. Notable players

  • Haj Mohammad Hossein Yeganeh Khorasani
  • Saied Tehranizadeh
  • Osman Mohammadparast Khaf, Iran
  • Alireza Soleimani Aliabad, Khorasan
  • Abd Allah Amini Khorasani
  • Haj Ghorban Soleimani 1920 – 2008
  • Gholam Ali Poor Ataa Khorasani
  • Turgun Alimatov 1922–2008
  • Abdollah Alijani Ardeshir Tehran, Iran
  • Zolfaghar Askarian Khorasani
  • Sultan Reza Bakci Geliani Khorasani
  • Aliia Gholi Yeganeh Turkmen
  • Abdurahim Hamidov 1952–2013
  • Abdurehim Heyit Uyghur