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date: 13 November 2019


  • Helen M. Faller


Lute of the Tatar people of the Republic of Tatarstan, also widespread in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan except among the Pamir. The southern Tajiks call a related instrument dutorcha or dutori-mayda (dutar-i maida). The dumbra resembles the Kazakh and Uzbek dömbra and the Afghan Turkestani dambura or dumbrak. The pear-shaped or oval body, with rounded back and long integral fretted neck (overall length 70 to 80 cm), was traditionally carved from a single piece of wood, the front covered by a wooden soundtable pierced by a small soundhole. It has two wire strings tuned a 4th apart, passing over a small bridge placed low on the soundtable, and hitched to a peg at the tail. Plucked with the fingers, it has a quiet sound but can be played vigorously. The dumbra was once part of the improvised epic tradition of steppe nomads. Currently, in the post-Soviet revival of traditional Tatar music, composed works are played on it. In the 21st century it has been accompanied by synthesizer and electric violin....

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