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.
Key facts about Azerbaijan
- Azerbaijan is a country in the South Caucasus region, between Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe.
- The Azerbaijan Republic declared its independence in 1918 before being incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920. The modern republic declared its independence in 1991.
- Its capital city is Baku
- With a population of nearly 10 million, it covers an area of 86,600 square kilometres.
Mahir Valadov told her:
The #azeri#Tar with 11 strings is the most popular #traditional#instrument in the #Caucasus. I interviewed Master Mahir Malavov in #Shekipic.twitter.com/iRruZcco0N— Aurora Velez (@goizlyon) June 30, 2017
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