Tanbur (musical instrument category)

From BoyWiki

The term tanbur (Persian: تنبور, pronounced [t̪ʰænˈbuːɾ, t̪ʰæmˈbuːɾ]) can refer to various long-necked string instruments originating in Mesopotamia, South or Central Asia.[1] According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "terminology presents a complicated situation. Nowadays the term tanbur (or tambur) is applied to a variety of distinct and related long-necked lutes used in art and folk traditions. Similar or identical instruments are also known by other terms." These instruments are used in the traditional music of Iran, India, Kurdistan, Armenia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan (especially Avar community), Pakistan, Turkey, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.[2][3][4]

Legendary origin

In the Encompasser of the Arts and Consoler of the Grief-Stricken, an 11th-century Egyptian Arabic music dictionary by Ibn al-Ṭaḥḥān, a Fatimid court singer, lutenist and composer, the entry dedicated to the tanbur (which assembles information from previous works by the scholars Ibn Khurdādhbih and Ibn Salama) attributes the invention of the instrument to the people of Sodom. According to said entry, "if they liked a beardless young boy (ghulām amrad), they would attract him by playing the ṭunbūr until he learned to play it".[5]


  1. Scheherezade Qassim Hassan; Morris, R. Conway; Baily, John; During, Jean (2001). "Tanbūr". In Sadie, Stanley; Tyrrell, John (eds.). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Vol. xxv (2nd ed.). London: Macmillan. pp. 61–62.
  2. "ATLAS of Plucked Instruments – Middle East". ATLAS of Plucked Instruments. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  3. "ATLAS of Plucked Instruments – Central Asia". ATLAS of Plucked Instruments. Archived from the original on May 21, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  4. McCollum, Jonathan (2014). "Tambur(iv) [tampur, tanbur, tanpur]." New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. Second Edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199743391.
  5. Ibn al-Ṭaḥḥān, Ḥāwī l-Funūn wa-Salwat al-Maḥzūn, Encompasser of the Arts and Consoler of the Grief-Stricken by Ibn al-Ṭaḥḥān (11th Century), trans. George Dimitri Sawa, part of the Islamic History and Civilization series (Leiden, Netherlands; Boston, Massachusetts: Brill, 2021), p. 269.