Persian Setar is a member of the saz family. There are 27 movable pitch (a fourth 25 strings). Before the spread of Islam, Setar of Persian origin was widely used. A stringed plectrum instrument with a specific sound belongs to the tanbur family, and the body is used for wood, metal for strings, and bone for decorations.
Setar instrument is an ancient instrument of Persian classical music. It is the predecessor of Khorasan Tambur, which is accepted as the ancestor of all lutes in Eastern culture. Although Perisan setar had three strings originally, the fourth was added in order to adapt the sound to spritiual music. Not only numbers of strings it had but the technique of playing Persian setar had also been changed during the past three decades.
Setar's body consists of two parts; a soundbox and a long neck. The box is usually made of walnut or mulberry while neck is made of walnut wood. There are twenty five frets on the long neck. All of them are made of gut. The sound box has a strong resonance which produces the harmony of the notes. The harmony of the sound that master players are able to achieve is the key aspect of this instrument.
Sound box and lengthy finger board are two basics of a Persian setar. There are 4 strings and Sarpanjeh is the end of the lengthy finger board with four pegs. These 4 pegs help to tune your Persian setar tune. When you look at the pegs design in the Sarpanjeh, you can see two different desing which are called the old design and the Master Qanbari design. Whereas each two pegs are vertical in the old design, Master Qanbari design consist with all pegs are in the two sides of the Sarpanjeh.
Persian Setar's sound is delicate, and its sound extension reaches almost 3 octaves.
Although the use of setar instrument is common in the Iranian musical repertoire, it is mostly used as a solo instrument.