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date: 18 October 2019

Mizmār [tazamar, zammāra, zamr, zumare, zumbara, zummāra]locked

  • Christian Poché


[tazamar, zammāra, zamr, zumare, zumbara, zummāra]

Generic term from the Arab world for various kinds of wind instrument with single or double reed.

In the past in Arab cultures the term mizmār applied to all wind instruments. Later any instrument meeting one of the following criteria could be called mizmār: a single-reed instrument with two tubes of different or equal lengths (double clarinet); an instrument with one tube and a single or double reed (simple clarinet and shawm); an instrument that uses circular breathing (simple and double clarinet, shawm and related bagpipe instruments).

Today the term mizmār is usually applied to specific types of reed instruments; the precise meaning varies according to region. In Egypt and parts of the Arabian Gulf mizmār is applied to the folk shawm as mizmār. Other terms apply to related wind instruments (see §4 below).

The Semitic linguistic root zamr has a long history pre-dating the Islamic period by many centuries. The evidence suggests a prototype instrument constructed of two parallel tubes having a narrow compass of notes, probably without a drone. Instruments of this type were widely found on the Mediterranean coast, and must have spread long before the rise of Islam. A double-pipe instrument from Syria from the Roman period (locally known as ...

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