Azerbaijani Musical Instruments

Azerbaijani Musical Instruments

A Note on Azerbaijani Musical Instruments by Dr. Peyman Nasehpour

Azerbaijani (Azeri) music instruments used in traditional Azerbaijani music include the following music instruments:

Tar: Tar is a long-necked lute performed especially in Azerbaijani mugam music. A similar version is used in Persian classical music. The word tar is a Persian word, which means string.

Kamancha: Kamancha is an Azerbaijani spike fiddle used especially in Azerbaijani mugam music. A similar version of this instrument is applied in Persian classical and folk music with the name Kamancheh.

Ghaval: Ghaval also spelled as gaval is an Azerbaijani frame drum and is usually performed by the mugam vocalist (khananda) during the performance of Azerbaijani mugam music. Recently some musicians perform ghaval solo during Azerbaijani music concerts. Azerbaijani ghaval is also known as daf.

Oud: Oud is an ancient lute that is performed in Azerbaijani music as well.

Saz: Saz is a long-necked lute that is performed in Ashighlar music. Normally a saz player is vocalist and poet also. Saz is a Persian word and its meaning is instrument and is derived from the Persian verb sakhtan.

Balaban: Balaban is a reed used in Azerbaijani music also. Balaban is a Persian name derived from the two words "Ba" and "Laban" that they mean "with" and "lips" respectively. This reed is put between the lips during its performance and this is why it is called balaban.

Nagara: Nagara is a double-faced cylindrical drum and is played with hands. The techniques used to perform this drum is similar to goblet drums such as tonbak and darbuka, while the shape is similar to davul (dohol).

Gosha-nagara: Gosha-nagara is Azerbaijani version for small kettledrums.

Tutak: Tutak is an Azerbaijani reed used normally in Azerbaijani folk music. Its Armenian version is called duduk.

Zurna: Zurna is an Azerbaijani oboe and is usually performed in Azerbaijani wedding ceremonies. It is normally accompanied by davul and since its sound is very loud, normally it is performed in outdoors.

Garmon: Garmon also spelled as garman is a small Azerbaijani accordion. Garmon can be accompanied by nagara or ghaval and is normally performed in Azerbaijani wedding ceremonies (indoors).

More detailed information: