Video NewsSilk Road radioPostcards from the road Maps
Desert
Music & Artists

Close-up of a Pojagi flag--a patchwork of blue, green, yellow and neutral tones

© DAVID O'CONNOR

A Journey in Color
This pojagi cloth was made by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) students, using traditional techniques of dying cloth in vats of indigo and hand-sewing it in particular patterns. The Silk Road Ensemble developed a musical work based on the worldwide migration of the dye indigo while in residence at RISD.


Tar

 


Tar

orig. Middle East, Caucasus  One of the principal Iranian and Azerbaijani instruments, the tar is a long-necked double-heart-shaped lute made from mulberry wood and covered in lambskin. The instrument has six steel and copper strings and a long, flat fingerboard with up to 28 adjustable frets.

Once thought to cure ailments and soothe the mind into a philosophical mood, the tar has deeply influenced trends in Persian music over the last few centuries. To play, the strings are plucked with a brass plectrum (pick).


Tar players
Ali Asgar Mammadov


Other string instruments
Cello
Contrabass
Erhu
Harp
Kamancheh
Kayagum
Morin khuur
Oud
Piano
Pipa
Ruan
Santur

Viola
Violin


Other Persian instruments
Kamancheh
Ney
Santur


Other Azerbaijani instruments and traditions
Kamancheh
Mugham