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date: 14 December 2019

Setār [saitār, sehtār, setā, setór, sihtār]locked

  • Jean During
  •  and Alastair Dick


[saitār, sehtār, setā, setór, sihtār]

Persian word, meaning ‘three strings’, used in Iran for a lute of the Ṭanbūr family with a small body, a long neck and four metal strings (three until the middle of the 19th century). It is played in classical Iranian music, mostly solo or to accompany singing. Like the Tār, which it resembles in the number of frets and the tuning system, it is held in high esteem because of its antiquity (it originated in the 15th century, or even earlier) and because its delicate and intimate tone restricts it to art music. Its manufacture, technique and playing style probably contributed to those of the tār at the end of the 18th century.

The pear-shaped body of the setār is made of mulberry wood assembled in strips or carved out of a single piece, and the long, narrow neck is provided with 25 to 27 movable frets producing the same intervals as on the ...

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