Setar is one of the truest, the most characteristic instrument of Persian traditional music. It is a small lute, played with a flat pick. Setar is like a western mandolin but with a longer neck. This instrument originally had three strings. However it has changed through time, now it has four strings and its frets vary between 22 to 28. Setar is played with the index finger’s long nail. When it is strummed, it gives the melody and drone together. Setar has a soft timbre but sometimes it can become loud and vigorous. If you like the mystical sound of setar, we recommend you to check our catalogue and pick one of our setars through our selection. Our setars are classified as standard, professional and special setars depending on the needs of the musician. The setars in our catalogue are made by best setar makers who have mastered their craft. We believe you will find here the most convenient setar for yourself at the best value.
The Setar is a Persian stringed instrument with a small pear-shaped soundbox and four metal strings. Two single strings and a course made up of two strings.
- Yellow String
- Drone String
- Bass String
- White String
Origin of Setar was widely used before the spread of Islam. Setar are divided into two according to the volume of the sound box. Their voices are different, but the sounds of both are quite beautiful.
Structure of Setar
The setar has a small voice box and a long fingerboard. The voice box is usually made of mulberry wood, and the fingerboard is made of walnut wood. The fingerboard has 25 to 28 moving frets. Curtains are usually made from animal gut, but nylon is also available. The sound produced by the strings will be transmitted to the sound box by the bridge. This sound will be output from the sound box again by the small wholes on the sound box card. The length of the sound box varies between 22 and 30 cm, the width varies between 12 and 18 cm, and the depth varies between 12 and 16 cm. The length of the fingerboard is between 40 and 48 cm, and the width is between 3 and 3.5 cm.
The setar has several tuning options, some of which are unique to the setar.
There are two types of Setar: the setar with the small voice box and the setar with the larger voice box. The setar with the larger sound box is known as the Kamaliyan model, and the setar with the smaller sound box is known as the Hashemite model. The main difference between the two models is the sound quality of each model. Those who prefer bass sound prefer the Kamaliyan model, those who like transparent and loud sound prefer the Hashemi model. Some setars are highly figured or marbled for a visually appealing and aural impression.
History of setar
The setar is a stringed instrument with a small, pear-shaped soundbox and four metal strings. Setar; means "three strings". Drone string is known by many prominent tar and setar players as "Sim Moshtagh" (Moshtagh string). his modification gave the precision instrument a "bigger" sound and more complex tuning possibilities. Setar's resonance box is attached to a long neck with twenty-five intestinal frets. The soundbox is made of mulberry wood, and the neck is made of walnut wood. The instrument's melodic range is just over twenty degrees. Although traditionally played with the fingernail of the right index finger, over the past three decades two outstanding master performers, Mohammad-Reza Lotfi and Hossein Alizadeh, have introduced new techniques to breathe new life into setar playing.
Today, the setar is generally considered the supreme instrument for performing Persian classical music. Setar opened the door to contemporary compositions due to new playing techniques, evolution, and new approaches to melodies within the boundaries of Persian classical music.
In 1984, a significant recording of a setar solo performed by master Mohammad-Reza Lotfi brought the smaller instrument to the attention of a whole new generation of Persian classical music enthusiasts. Lotfi's historical album, prepared in memory of the great musician Darvish Khan, increased the interest of many young instrument makers and musicians in setar.