- Johanna Spector
Term for a number of double-headed drums of Azerbaijan. All have wooden bodies, sometimes with small soundholes. The heads are tightened with crossed lacing and are played with the bare hands or with wooden beaters with spherical or hooked ends. The drums have different names according to size. The kyos (great nagara) is 50 to 60 cm in diameter and was formerly made in villages from a tree trunk. Wider distribution of the drum encouraged skilled craftsmen to produce more refined instruments. The kyos is suspended from the shoulder on a leather strap and struck with a beater on one head, rarely on both.
The bala nagara or chure nagara (medium nagara) is 35 to 40 cm in diameter and is primarily an ensemble instrument. Held under the left arm, it may be beaten on one head with bare hands or with one hand and a beater. Occasionally both heads are played; at the rim the drum is played with the fingers, the centre with the palms. The ...