When silent it’s a figure of 8: when played it symbolises infinity. It’s called a “tar”; it comes from the same family as the lute; and its double heart is linked to millions of others.
For euronews, Aurora Velez#! reports that, with its 11 strings, the Azeri tar’s musical range makes it the most popular instrument in the Caucasus. She learnt more about it from an Azeri specialist instrument-maker.
Mahir Valadov told her:
Tars are made solely by hand, using specific techniques, often passed down through generations of the same families.
Formerly they had just five or six strings: by the nineteenth century they had 11.
Five years’ ago, the art of making and playing the tar was added to UNESCO’s representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity