Dombra-An Ancient Turkish Music Instrument

The dombra (домбыра or dombyra in Kazakhdamburadambura, in Uzbekistandumbyra in Tatar and Bashkirtumbyra in Siberian Tatar,danbura in Hazaragi,) is a long-necked lute and a musical string instrument.

Dombra

Dombra

The instrument shares some of its characteristics with the komuz and dutar.

The instrument differs slightly in different regions. The Kazakh dombra has frets and is played by strumming with the hand or plucking each string individually, with an occasional tap on the main surface of the instrument. While the strings are traditionally made of sinew, modern dombras are usually produced using nylon strings. One of the greatest dombra players is Kazakh folk musician and composer Kurmangazy, which had a great influence on the development of the Kazakh musical culture, including – music for dombra, his musical composition “Adai” popular in Kazakhstan and abroad.

The instrument differs slightly in different regions. The Kazakh dombra has frets and is played by strumming with the hand or plucking each string individually, with an occasional tap on the main surface of the instrument. While the strings are traditionally made of sinew, modern dombras are usually produced using nylon strings. One of the greatest dombra players is Kazakh folk musician and composer Kurmangazy, which had a great influence on the development of the Kazakh musical culture, including – music for dombra, his musical composition “Adai” popular in Kazakhstan and abroad.

The Turkestani and Badakhshani damburas are fretless with a body and neck carved from a single block of wood, usually mulberry or apricot. The dambura is played with much banging and scratching on the instrument to help give a percussive sound. The two strings are made of nylon (in modern times) or gut. They cross a short bridge to a pin at the other end of the body. There is a tiny sound hole in the back of the instrument, while the top is thick wood. It is not finished with any varnishfiling/sanding of any kind, and as with all other Afghan instruments there is some decoration.

The Dumbura is the equivalent instrument of the Tatars and Bashkirs. A performer strikes all the strings at the same time. The upper string performs the bourdon tone and the lower string performs the melody. A dumbura is used as a solo as well as an ensemble instrument.

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