Persian Percussion Instruments

An Encyclopedia of Persian Percussion Instruments

by Peyman Nasehpour

Introduction. There are many Persian percussion instruments, though some of them have been forgotten. Today, percussion instruments are called in Persian "saz-ha-ye kube'i سازهای کوبه‌ای" or "alat-e zarbi آلات ضربی". However, in the past, they were called "alat-e igha'i آلات ایقاعی". Note that "igha ایقاع" was an old term for the concept "rhythm" in Persian treatises on the theory of music. On this note, I have gathered encyclopedic information on Persian percussion instruments (goblet drums, frame drums, cylindrical drums, kettledrums, and many other percussion instruments). More detailed information on the popular percussion instruments of Iran has been given in other notes of mine.


Akhlakandu آخلکندو: A very ancient percussion instrument of Persia, the "akhlakandu" was made of a skull which included gravel stones in it, and was played by shaking the instrument. Today, in Persian the "jeghjegheh جِقجِقِه" is a kind of rattle used to entertain children. The word "Ajlakandu آجلکندو" is perhaps another name for "akhlakandu".

Alvah الواح: Alvah was a set of wooden or metallic plates or bars played by sticks. Note that the word "alvah الواح" is a plural of the Arabic word "loh لوح" meaning plate, sheet, or tablet.

Arabaneh اربانه: A frame drum similar to the daf performed in Yazd province of Iran. In some references, it is spelled as "arabaneh عربانه". Some believe that the second spelling (form) is another frame drum related to Arabs called "arbani عَربَنی".

Arkal عَرکَل: A kind of drum perhaps a frame drum like the daf.

Ayineh-pil آیینه پیل: A very ancient percussion instrument, the "ayineh-pil" was a metallic tablet placed on the back of an elephant and played by sticks. Comparable to the gong.


Bango بانگو: The bongo, spelled in Persian as "bango", is an Afro-Cuban drum used in some Persian pop music ensembles.

Batareh باتره: A kind of frame drum mentioned in different Persian dictionaries. Most probably, the old French word "baterie" (meaning "action of beating") and its English form "battery" are related to the Persian name "batareh".

Bendayer بندایر: Another name for the frame drum "bendir بندیر".

Bendir بندیر: A kind of frame popular in Arab-sepaking countries and Turkey.

Boshghabak بشقابک: The name "boshghab بشقاب" is a Turkic name meaning plate and "boshghabak" is a diminutive of "boshghab". Note that the use of the names "boshghab" and "boshghabak" seem to be quite new in the Persian language. However, the boshghabak stands for a small cymbal, and a set of cymbals may be used by dancers and percussionists.


Chaghaneh چغانه: A kind of ancient Persian shaker that is made of a small dried gourd having gravel stones inside the gourd. The chaghaneh is also a name given to another ancient percussion instrument of Persia that is made of two small wooden sticks bound to each other on one side like the "tongs" and some jingles (bells) are attached to the open part of the sticks. Throughout history, other names have been given to "chaghaneh" such as "chaghabeh چغبه", "chaghan چغان", "chaghaneh چغنه", and "chakaneh چکانه". On a metallic cup belonging to the Sasanid era, a kind of chaghaneh that is in the hands of a dancer has been carved. Many poets have mentioned "chaghaneh چغانه" in their works.

Chalab چلب: A kind of cymbal. The other names for the chalab are "chalap چلپ", "senj سنج", "tal تال", and "zang زنگ".

Chanbar چنبر: The Persian name "chanbar" with a pre-Islamic form "chambar چمبر" literally means frame. It has been also interpreted as a kind of Persian tambourine. Even now, in some regions of Iran including Khorasan, the word "chanbar" is used to indicate the frame of a dayereh or a daf.

Charkh چرخ: The name "charkh" literally means wheel, but in music, it stands for any kind of frame drum. Rumi mentions the "charkh" in some of his poems in the sense of a musical instrument.

Chefteh-naghareh چفته نقاره: The Persian word "chefteh چفته" means a pair. The "chefteh-naghareh" is a pair of kettledrums.  

Chini چینی: It has been reported that the chini was a kind of Persian percussion instrument to be played in army music. A kind of "sleigh bells", the chini had a metallic body over a wooden stick having a ceramic head at its end and some bells were attached to its body. It was played by shaking the stick in a way that the bells were sounding. Note that the word "chini" in Persian means "Chinese ceramics". 

Chubak چوبک: The Persian word "chub چوب" literally means wood and the "chubak" is diminutive of the "chub". Probably a chubak has been a small wooden stick played on a drum, a wooden tablet, or another wooden stick. Dancers may use wooden sticks to hit them during their dance performances. For more, see my note on Persian dance.

Chughru چوغرو: In the Kerman province of Iran, there exists a double-headed square drum called "chughru". For a picture of this rare drum, see my note on the status of the Daf and Dayereh in different provinces of Iran.

Chumlak-dombolak چوملک دمبلک: A kind of Turkish/Egyptian goblet drum, i.e. dombolak, with a clay body.


Dabal دبال: A local Shushtari name for a big drum. The expression "dabalzan دبال‌زن" means a dabal player.

Dabdab دبداب: A general Persian name for a drum.

Daf دف: A Persian large-sized frame drum. For more, see Daf Iranian frame drum.

Daf-e-chahar-gush دف چهارگوش: It has been reported that a kind of square drum was popular in the Sasanid era, related to the drum "adufe". The expression "daf-e-chahar-gush" means a square daf.

Dafif دفیف: Another name for the daf.

Damam دمام: Also known as "damameh دمامه", "damam" is a kind of cylindrical drum popular in the Bushehr province of Iran accompanying the neyanban (Persian bagpipe). On one side, the skin of the damam is beaten by a bare hand and on the other side, the skin is beaten by a stick.

Damz دمز: A kind of frame drum (the dayereh or the daf).

Daneh دنه: The word "daneh" has been mentioned in a verse by the Persian poet Manuchehri Damghani, and based on this verse, it is guessed that the daneh was a kind of musical instrument:

بامدادان بر چکک، چون چاشتگاهان بر شخج     نیمروزان بر لبینا، شامگاهان بر دنه 

Note that the Punjabi dhol is played by two sticks called "chanti" and "danka" and this is why Iranian researcher Hosseinali Mallah believes that the word "danka" is perhaps related to the Persian word "daneh" and "daneh" is a kind of an ancient drum.

Dap دپ: Another name for the daf. In fact, the "daf" is an Arabicized form of the "dap".

Dara درا: Also known as "daray درای", "dara" was a kind of bell-shaped percussion instrument played either by a hammer in the hand of a percussionist or hung inside the bell and shaken in order to sound. Other names for "dara" are "jaras جرس" and "zang زنگ".

Daray-e-Hendi درای هندی: An Indian "dara درا". The expression "daray-e-hendi" has been mentioned in a verse by Ferdowsi.

Dareh دارِه: An ancient name for the frame drum dayerehT the name "darah دارَه" which is a dialect of the name "dareh" is still in use in Dezful and Shushtar cities of Iran.

Dariyeh داریه: A dialect of the name dayereh (frame drum) which is used in many regions of Iran.

Davat دوات: A kind of ancient drum beaten by the "ghazib قضیب" (an ancient Arabic name for a drumstick).

Davrah دَورَه: A local name for dayereh in Nishapur city of Iran.

Dayereh دایره: Any kind of medium-sized frame drum in Persia is called dayereh. For more, see Daf Dayereh Frame Drums.

Dayereh-zangi دایره‌زنگی: The Persian expression "dayereh-zangi" can be translated into a dayereh with the small cymbal-shaped jingles; a tambourine.

Desarkutan دِسَرکوتَن: The Mazani name "desarkutan" is a combination of the words "de دِ", "sar سَر", and "kutan کوتَن" meaning "two", "head", "beating", respectively. Performed as an accompaniment to "serna سِرنا" (Mazani oboe), the desarkutan is a Mazani version of Persian kettledrums.

Dizeh دیزه: The local Bojnordi name for the dayereh.

Dobol دُبُل: A Shushtari dialect for the "dohol دُهُل" which is a Persian cylindrical drum. For more, see my note on the dohol.

Dofuf دفوف: An Arabic plural of the "daf دف".

Dohol-e baz دهلِ‌باز: A small-sized dohol with a brazen body played in the time of hunting in order to encourage the prey hawk (falcon) for hunting. Not to be confused with "doholbaz دهل‌باز" meaning "dohol player". Note that in the Hindi language the word "sitarbaz ستارباز" means "sitar player".

Doholak دهلک: A kind of cylindrical drum popular in Baluchistan though performed by two hands. The word doholak is a diminutive of the word dohol. The doholak is also called "nal نال" in Pakistan. In Maharashtra of India, its name is the "dholki". Note that the "dholak" in India is a crude folk drum characterized by a cylindrical wooden shell covered with skin on both sides.

Dombak دمبک: Another name for the tonbak (Persian goblet-shaped drum). The name "dombak" is derived from the Pahlavi name "dombalak دمبلک".

Dombalak دمبلک: The dombalak is a Pahlavi name for the dombak (also known as the tonbak).

Dombalak-e ayyubi دمبلکِ ایوبی: The dombalak attributed to "Ayyub ایوب". Observe that the name "Ayyub" stands for a Middle Eastern rhythm cycle played in Arabic music (including in the music for the belly dance).

Donbak دنبک: Also known as "dombak دمبک", the donbak is another name for the tonbak (Persian goblet drum).

Donbalak-e moghren دنبلک مقرن: An ancient Persian drum made of two donbalaks. Note that the donbalak which is the same as dombalak is the ancient name of donbak (tonbak). The word "moghren مقرن" literally means anything that unifies two things. 

Doplak دُپلک: Also known as "tablak طبلک", it is a general term for a small drum.

Dorokkor درکر: A kind of Baluchi tunable cylindrical drum hung from the body of the drummer with the help of suitable ropes.

Doruyeh دورویه: The Persian word "doruyeh" means double-faced and stands for any drum with two faces (covered by skins) like the dohol.

Dulab دولاب. The "dulab" is a sarcastic or ironic name for a drum in the Persian language.


Gapdohol گپ‌دهل: A kind of large-sized dohol played in the Hormozgan province of Iran. On one side, the skin is beaten by a bare hand and on the other side, the skin is beaten by a stick. Normally the gapdohol is an accompaniment to the sorna (Persian oboe).

Gavorgah گورگه: Also known as "gavorkeh گورکه", it was a kind of large-sized Persian kettledrum.

Ghasa' قصع: A kind of Arabic drum comparable to the ancient Persian drum called "kasat کاسات".

Ghashoghak قاشقک: The ghashoghak is a kind of Persian castanet popular since ancient times (at least since the Sasanid era). Note that the word "ghashoghak" is diminutive of the word "ghashogh قاشق" and the latter means spoon.

Ghaval قاوال: The ghaval (also spelled as gaval) is an Azerbaijani frame drum with or without rings. The ghaval is almost the same as the Persian dayereh. Note that the Azerbaijani expression "ghavalchi قاوالچی" means the ghaval player. For more, see my note on the ghaval.

Ghodum قدوم: Also known as kudum, is a kind of kettledrum performed in Turkish Sufi music.

Ghopuz قوپوز: Also spelled in the Latin alphabet as "qopuz", it is the Jew's harp of Turkmen people in Iran. Its Persian name is "zanburak زنبورک". Not to be confused with Qopuz the Azerbaijani Nine-stringed Long-necked Lute.

Ghosha-naghara قوشا ناقارا: Azerbaijani kettledrums. Not to be confused with Naghara Azerbaijani Cylindrical Drum.

Gong گنگ: The gong is a metal disk with a turned rim giving a resonant note when struck with a stick. It is famous that the gong is of Chinese origin.

Gushdarideh گوش‌دریده: The expression "gishdarideh" is an expression in the literature of the Persian language meaning a sarcastic small drum such that its skin is torn.


Jalajel جَلاجِل: The jalajel is an ancient name for the jingles of Persian frame drums like the daf and the dayereh. The word "jalajel" is an Arabic plural of the name "joljol جُلجُل". The jalajel has been also described as a set of bells used by dancers. Persian poet Farrokhi Sistani has a verse including "pay-baz پای باز" which means dancer and "jalajel":

چو پای‌باز در آن بیشه پر جلاجل بود     ستاکهای درخت از پشیزهای کمر

Jam-danbolak جام‌دنبلک: A kind of tonbak. Note that the word "jam جام" literally means a cup.

Jaras جرس: The jaras is an Arabic word meaning the bell and it has been used in Persian literature extensively. Its Persian name is "daray درای".

Jeghjegheh جِقجِقِه: The "jeghjegheh" is a Persian name for a kind of rattle used to entertain children.

Jureh جوره: A dohol performed in the folk music of the Hormozgan province of Iran for accompanying the sorna (Persian oboe). The jureh and sorna are performed on festive occasions.


Kabar کَبَر: A one-faced big drum.

Kafeh کفه: Any kind of frame drum played by the palm of the hand. Note that the word "kaffeh کَفّه" is a general name for any circular thing.

Kas کاس: Another name for the "kus کوس", it is the ancient Persian kettledrum.

Kasat کاسات: It is a set of Chinese ceramic bowls that are filled with water. The bowls are struck with a light wooden mallet to cause them to sound. Its Indian version is called "jal-tarang". Note that the Indian expression "jal-tarang" is translated into "water-bowl chimes".

Kaseh کاسه: The "kaseh" literally means bowl, but in music, it is considered a kettledrum. All the Persian expressions "kasehgar کاسه‌گر", "kasehnavaz کاسه‌نواز" and "kasehzan کاسه‌زن" mean a kaseh player.

Kaseh-pil کاسه‌پیل: A kind of kettledrum placed on the back of the elephant.

Kastan کاستان: The "kastan" is a pair of small bowls that the dancers fix on the thumb and middle fingers, and struck them to each other during their performances. Most probably the word castanet is derived from "kaseh" and "kastan".

Keser کِسِر: A kind of dohol popular in the Hormozgan province of Iran.

Khar-mohreh خرمهره: A kind of gong. 

Khom خم: A big Persian kettledrum. Note that the "ruyineh-khom رویینه‌خم" is a metallic kettledrum.

Khomb خمب: The "khom", and it is a big Persian kettledrum.

Khombak خمبک: A historical name for the tonbak (Persian goblet drum). Note that the word "khombak" is a diminutive of the "khom". For more, see Lexical Discussion of Different Names of the Tonbak.

Khomak خمک: A diminutive of "khom خم". There is a kind of cylindrical drum popular in Bengal and its name is "khomok". The "khomok" of the Baul people in Bengal is also known as the "khamak", the "anandalahari", and the "gubgubi". It has been reported that the Bengali khomok looks like a small drum with a wooden body and a skinhead. The head is pierced with a string attached to a small piece of wood or metal to prevent it from passing all the way through the skin. The other end of the string travels through the instrument to come out of the bottom opening and is attached to a small brass handle. The khomok is played by placing the drum body under the arm and pulling on the handle thus pulling the string and placing tension on the drum skin. The string is plucked while the tension on the string is varied, producing a surprising vocal-like sound. Some khomok have two strings that are played at the same time increasing both the volume and complexity of the sound.

Khom-e ruyin خم رویین: A kind of khom with a brazen body.

Khonb خنب: The same as "khomb خمب" and "khom خم".

Khonbak خنبک: The "khonbak" was a kind of historical small kettledrum with a metallic body popular in Persia. Another version of "khonbak" was made of clay. In some dictionaries, the "khonbak" is another name for the tonbak (Persian goblet drum).

Koli کُلی: A historical name of a Persian frame drum.

Kubeh کوبه: The word "kubeh کوبه" comes from the Persian verb "kubidan کوبیدن" meaning to beat. In Arabic texts, it has been written as "al-kubeh الکوبه". A kind of hourglass or goblet-shaped drum which was put under the arm to be performed.

Kurka(e)h کورکه: A Turkish dialect of gavorgah.

Kus کوس: A general ancient Persian name for a kettledrum.

Kus-e Ashkebus کوس اشکبوس: A "kus" attributed to "Ashkebus" who was a famous commander of King Afrasiyab mentioned in Shahnameh of Ferdowsi.

Kus-e dolat کوس دولت: A kettledrum performed during the victories.

Kus-e id کوس عید: A kettledrum performed on festive occasions. Note that the word "id عید"  means a feast.

Kus-e Iskandar کوس اسکندر: A kus attributed to "Iskandar".

Kus-e-jang کوس جنگ: A kind of kettledrum used in wars in order to embolden and encourage the soldiers.

Kus-e-khaghani کوس خاقانی: A kettledrum of a "khaghan خاقان". The khaghan was the title of a Chinese emperor.

Kus-e Mahmudi کوس محمودی: A kettledrum attributed to King Mahmud Ghaznavi.

Kus-e-rehlat کوس رحلت: A kettledrum performed during the decamping.

Kus-e-ruyin کوس رویین: A kettledrum with a brazen body.

Kust کوست: Another name of the kus mentioned in Shahnameh of Ferdowsi.


Mandal مندل: An Indian cylindrical drum mentioned in Persian dictionaries. The Persian expressions "mandalforush مندل‌فروش" and "mandalnavaz مندل‌نواز" mean a "mandal seller" and a "mandal player", respectively.

Mohreh مهره: A kind of percussion instrument performed in the wars. The name "mohreh" has been seen in the expression "mohreh-ye safir مهره ی صفیر". Note that "safir صفیر" means the sound and "mohreh-ye safir" means the sound of the mohreh.


Naghareh نقاره: A pair of kettledrums played by sticks. Its ancient name is the "kus". The naghareh is a pair of kettledrums performed in a traditional ensemble of nine instruments called the "nobat نوبت". Today, the naghareh is played to accompany the sorna (Persian oboe) in some regions of Iran. The expression "nagharehchi نقاره‌چی" means a naghareh player. A similar drum with the names "nagada" or "nagara" are used to accompany the "shehnai شهنای" (Indian oboe).

Naghareh-ye Fars نقاره‌ ی فارس: A kind of naghareh performed in the Fars province of Iran.

Naghareh-ye Sanandaj نقاره‌ ی سنندج: A kind of naghareh performed in Sanandaj city, the center of the Kurdistan province of Iran.

Naghareh-ye Shomal نقاره ی شمال: A kind of naghareh performed in the North of Iran. Its Mazani version is called "desarkutan".

Naghus ناقوس: The word "naghus" has been used in Persian literature extensively meaning both a bell or a gong. The Persian expression "naghus-zan ناقوس‌زن" means a naghus player.

Nal نال: Another name for the "doholak".


Ruyineh-khom رویینه‌خم: A kind of khom with a brazen body mentioned in the works of some Persian poets.

Ruyin-khom رویین‌خم: Another name for "ruyineh-khom".


Sama سما: The southern part of Baluchistan (of Iran) borders the Gulf of Oman. In the coastal areas, there is a kind of religious ceremony called "maled مالِد". The only instrument performed in "maled" ceremonies is a kind of frame drum called "sama سما". The sama is performed to help the dancers to go into ecstasy. The dancers who do extraordinary actions are called "mastan مستان".

Saz-e fulad ساز فولاد: A percussion instrument made up of 35 metallic bars played by sticks. Comparable to the "alvah الواح".

Saz-e kubeh'i ساز کوبه‌ای: The Persian word "saz " stands for a musical instrument. The expression "saz-e kubeh'i" is a translation of a percussion instrument.

Saz-e zarbi ساز ضربی: The expression "saz-e zarbi" means "saz-e kubeh'i", i.e. a percussion instrument.

Saz-e zarbi-ye pusti ساز ضربی پوستی: The Persian expression "saz-e zarbi-ye pusti" is a translation of a skinned percussion instrument, i.e., a drum.

Senj سنج: In the Persian language, the senj stands for a cymbal.

Shaghf شقف: A frame drum popular in the Abbasid era.

Shahin-tabbal شاهین طبال: The word "shahin " literally means a royal falcon, but in the expression "shahin-tabbal", shahin stands for a kind of wind instrument. The Arabic expression "tabbal طبال" means a drummer. The "shahin-tabbal" is a person who plays the "shahin" in one hand and the "tabl طبل" (the drum) in the other hand.


Tabang تبنگ: Another name for the tonbak (Persian goblet-shaped drum).

Tabare تبره: A general Persian name for a drum. Another form of the "tabire تبیره".

Tabire تبیره: The Persian word "tabireh" stands for any kind of drum. In the French encyclopedia of Littreé, it has been mentioned that the French word "tabur",  which means a small drum used in medieval times to accompany folk dancing, comes from the Persian word "tabire".

Tabl طبل: A general Arabic term for a drum.

Tabla طبلا: A pair of Indian drums performed in Northern Indian music (Hindustani sangeet). For more, see my note on the Tabla and Talas.

Tablak طبلک: The word "tablak" is a diminutive form of the "tabl". The name "doplak" is related to the name "tablak".

Tabl-e baz طبلِ باز: A kind of drum played during the time of hunting. See also, "dohol-e baz دهلِ باز".

Tabur: In the French encyclopedia of Littreé, it has been mentioned that the French word "tabur",  which means a small drum used in medieval times to accompany folk dancing, comes from the Persian word "tabire". The French word "tambour" means drum.

Taburak تبوراک: A small drum. The word "taburak" is a diminutive form of "tabireh". The name "taburak" is a combination of the name "tabireh" and the diminutive suffix "ak اک". Rudaki and Rumi have included "taburak" in their poems.

Taher طاهر: A kind of percussion instrument.

Tal تال: The "tal" is a pair of Indo-Persian small brazen bowls and they are worn on the thumb and index fingers and beaten to each other by dancers during their dance performances. Not to be confused with the Lori name "tal" standing for kamancheh (Persian spike fiddle).

Tanbal طنبل: A kind of drum related to the "tablak طبلک" or the "dohol دهل".

Tar طار: A kind of ancient Arabic frame drum related to the ancient Persian frame drum called the "dareh داره".

Tas تاس: The name "tas تاس" (also spelled as "طاس") stands for two kinds of percussion instruments. One is a copper bowl covered with skin which is related to the Indian "tasa", also called "tasha". The "tas" is, in fact, a small drum played by sticks. The other one is the "tasat طاسات" which is a set of copper bowls without skins equivalent to the Indian "jal-tarang". The "tas", in its ordinary use, is a copper bowl used in Persian traditional bathhouses.

Tasht تشت: The tasht (also spelled as "طشت") is a traditional metallic wash basin, but in many regions, it is performed by women in wedding ceremonies. In this sense, the tasht is a kind of metallic percussion instrument for festive occasions. The Persian expression "tashtgar طشت‌گر" means a tasht player. In those regions of Iran where the weather is very humid, it is difficult to play on the natural-skinned frame drums. In this case, the tasht is an alternative. For more, see Daf Dayereh Frame Drums.

Tempo تمپو: A kind of goblet-shaped drum very similar to the Arabic darbuka. Not to be confused with the English word tempo which stands for the speed of a rhythmic piece.

Teryal تریال: Also known as "tiryal تیریال" and "tirpal تیرپال", the teryal is a kind of ancient percussion instrument popular in the Sasanid era.

Timbook تیمبوک: A kind of cylindrical drum to be considered the same as the dohol.

Tombak تمبک: Another name for the tonbak (Persian goblet drum). Also, there is a kind of cylindrical drum in the Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran called the tombak though it can be compared to the Indian khol. Note that the khol, also called mridang, is a folk drum of Northeast India. With a clay body, it has a very small head on the right side (approximately 4 inches), and a larger head on the left side (approximately 10 inches).

Tombak-e-zourkhaneh تمبک زورخانه: A large-sized Persian goblet drum, similar to the tonbak, used in the "zourkhaneh" (Persian traditional gymnasium) to encourage the athletes to do the exercises together. The Persian word "zourkhaneh زورخانه" literally means the house of power.

Tompak تُمپک: The local name for the tonbak (Persian goblet drum, also known as the tombak) in the Iranian port "Bandar Abbas".

Tonbak تنبک: A Persian goblet-shaped drum (see my detailed notes on the tonbak). There are many names for this instrument used throughout history listed in the following:

"damal دمل", "dambal دمبل", "dombak دمبک", "dombalak دمبلک", "dombar دمبر", "dombarak دمبرک", "donbak دنبک", "donbalak دنبلک", "khomak خمک", "khombak خمبک", "khomchak خمچک", "khonbak خنبک", "khurazhak خوراژک", "tabang تبنگ", "tabnak تَبنک", "tobnak تُبنک", "tobnog تُبنُگ", "tobnok تُبنُک", "tombak تمبک", "tonbak تنبک", "tonbik تنبیک", "tonbook تنبوک", "tontak تنتک", and finally, "zarb ضرب".

Tonbak-e bazmi تنبک بزمی: The tonbak which is performed on festive occasions. Sometimes the tonbak-e bazmi was put under the arm of the drummer and fixed with the help of a leather band to help the drummer to hold it easier in the case of long stand-up performances. Note that the Persian word "bazm بزم" means a feast, and also, a party.

Tonbak-e-razmi تنبک رزمی: The Persian word "razm رزم" means battle. A large-sized tonbak suitable to encourage and train the athletes and soldiers. Today, it is called "tonbak-e zourkhaneh تنبک زورخانه", and also, "zarb-e zourkhaneh ضرب زورخانه".

Tonbak-e ta'lim تنبک تعلیم: A large-sized tonbak for training the athletes in zourkhaneh. Also known as the tonbak-e zourkhaneh.

Tonbak-e-zourkhaneh تنبک زورخانه: A large-sized tonbak, performed in a zourkhaneh which is a Persian traditional gymnasium to train the athletes.

Tonbuk تنبوک: Another name for the tonbak.

Tulomba(e) طولُمبه: Illustrated in some Persian dictionaries as a kind of dohol (cylindrical drum).

Zanburak زنبورک: The zanburak is the name of a Persian Jew's harp. It is played in Turkmen Sahra of Iran with the local name "ghopuz قوپوز".

Zanchir زنچیر: The old Persian (Pahlavi) word "zanchir" stands for a percussion instrument made up of some hawk bells to be hung from a stick; a kind of shaker.

Zang زنگ: The Persian name for a bell. 

Zang-e sarangoshti زنگ سرانگشتی: The "zang-e sarangoshti" is a pair of brazen cymbals fixed on the thumb and middle fingers of a dancer and they are beaten to each other to mark the rhythm cycles during their dance performances.

Zang-e-zourkhaneh زنگ زورخانه: A kind of bell played in the zourkhaneh by the "morshed مرشد" who is a singer and a tonbak player, and leads the athletes during their exercises in the zourkhaneh.

Zangi زنگی: Anything possessing a "zang" (bell). It is used in the expression "dayereh-zangi" to indicate a dayereh with bells (jingles).

Zangol زنگل: Another name of the "zang زنگ" (Persian bell).

Zangolicheh زنگلیچه: A small bell. The word "zangolicheh" is a combination of "zangol زنگل" (meaning bell) and the diminutive suffix "cheh چه".

Zanguleh زنگوله: A Persian name standing for a (small) bell.

Zanjir زنجیر: The word "zanjir" is an Arabicized form of the old Persian name "zanchir زنچیر". As explained above the zanjir a percussion instrument made up of some hawk bells to be hung from a stick.

Zarb ضرب: Another name for the tonbak. The old Persian expression "zarbgir ضربگیر" stands for a tonbak player. The expression "zarbgir" comes from the Persian verb "zarb gereftan ضرب گرفتن" meaning to play on the zarb and keep the rhythm cycle.

Zarb-e-zourkhaneh ضرب زورخانه: A large-sized tonbak performed by the "morshed مرشد" who is a singer and a tonbak player, and leads the athletes during their exercises the in the zourkhaneh.

Zarbuleh ذربوله: A goblet-shaped drum popular in North Africa and Syria. Its Egyptian version is covered by fish skin and the other version may be covered by goatskin. Most probably the same as the Arabic darabuka.

Zirbaghali زیربغلی: The zirbaghali is a kind of goblet drum popular in Afghanistan. The zirbaghali has a clay body and is played with a technique somewhat between the tonbak and Indian tabla with some darbuka techniques thrown in for seasoning. Note that there is a black spot (siyahi) on the skin of the zirbaghali which shows the influence of the Indian tabla on the zirbaghali. The word "zirbaghali زیربغلی" means something placed in the armpit. In some references, it is spelled "zerbaghali" in the Latin alphabet.

Zu-jalal ذوجلال: A kind of (frame) drum possessing jingles.


[AA] Abbas Aryanpur and Manoochehr Aryanpur, The Concise Persian-English Dictionary, Amir Kabir Publication Organization, Tehran, 1990.

[Ch] B. Chaintanya Deva, Indian Music, New Delhi, 1974.

[Co] David R. Courtney, Fundamentals of Tabla, Vol. I, Sur Sangeet Services, Houston, 1998.

[K] Michael Kennedy, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music, Oxford Univ. Press, London, 1980.

[Pa] Keivan Pahlevan, Daf and Dayere, in the history of Iran, in Farsi literature, and in Iranian world, Arvan publishers, Tehran, 2014.

[Po] Mehran Poor Mandan, The Encyclopedia of Iranian Old Music, Tehran, 2000.

[Sa] Cemsid Salehpur, Türkçe Farsça Genel Sözlügü, Tehran, 1996.

[Se] Mehdi Setayeshgar, Vazhe-Name-ye-Musighi-ye-Iran Zamin, Tehran, Vol. I (1995) & Vol. II (1996).

Online Persian Drum Lessons 

Best Quality Tonbak Tombak Zarb for Sale