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Persiantombak

Tombak is an ancient Persian drum. It is also named as Zarb. Although it is a traditional instrument of classical and folkloric Iranian music it also finds ground in modern fusion music. It has a goblet shape and made of wood with a skin membrane. It is not made out of a single wood and has three parts. A thin stand, a large body and a strained membrane head.

Tombak is one of the main percussion instrument of classical and folkloric music in Iran. Unlike other drums, this goblet drum is played by using all the fingers. That technique makes Tombak one of the most interesting traditional drums of the world. Persian musical tradition is a way of expressing joy, sorrow, strugles and love. In short, everything that is about life and Tombak is one the best instruments to express these feelings in musical form.

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Structure of the Tombak

PersianTombak Tombak

Persian drum Tombak is a large wooden instrument. It has a goblet shape with a goat skin head. Unlike other goblet drums, it has a much more squared shape. It is traditionally made from Mulberry , Ash or Walnut. Like all other ethnic instruments the size of it varies according to the preferences of the musicians. A large tombak is approximately 30 cm in diameter and 46 cm in length. There are several types of Tombak and 5 of them are preferred mostly by modern Persian musicians.

How to Play the Tombak

Tombakcollection SalaTombak

There are two main strokes to be played on Tombak.

  • Tom: Tom refers to the bass tone and is played in the center of the head.
  • Bak: Bak is played on the rim and produces a treble tone

Combination of these two tones result in a harmonic Tom-Bak ryhtm. It can be played on the lap or off to one side under the arms of the musician. Hands and fingertips are used to produce the ryhtm.

The Sound Of the Tombak

tombakstructure soundoftombak

Melodic effects can be obtained by applying pressure to the membrane on different points. It provides the sound with a range of tones and extends over an octave. Even soft tones can be produced with regards to the size and tension of the membrane and can be tuned very easily by the players. Professional players can produce a variety of expressive musical tones even modern fusion sounds.

The tombak instrument was not very popular till the twentieth century. It was considered even as a low profile instrument and was only used to accompany melodic instruments and singers till late 1800's but became very popular gradually in the mid's of 1900's and started to appear for solo performances as it gained more popularity. Today it is the most popular percussion instrument in Iran.

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All the Tombak models at our store are hand made and are products of excellent craftsmen with affordable prices. If you are looking for buying a convenient Tombak instrument at the best value, please visit our store in İstanbul or check our online catalogue.

For further information please see our Tombak Collection

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