By Laman Ismayilova
For many centuries, Azerbaijani people have been fascinated by magnificent music performed on tar.
Tar or a long-necked plucked lute is traditionally crafted and performed throughout the country.
In 2012, the craftsmanship and performance art of the tar was added to the UNESCO's List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The music instrument is made from mulberry, walnut and pear trees, and the face of the instrument is made from cattle heart membrane. Its strings differ by thickness and composition.
In Azerbaijan music, tar was used primarily as a lead instrument for mugham singers. Tar musicians performed in the weddings, public concerts and other festivities.
In the 70s of the 19th century, the tar was renovated by prominent tar musician Mirza Sadig known as Sadigdjan.
At first, he increased the number of strings to 18, and then limited it to 13 strings.
The tar was previously larger in size and was held on the knees. Sadigdjan made the tar smaller. Early tar players held the instrument to their knees.
The musician developed a new manner by reducing the size of the instrument, and for the first time presented the play on a tar nestled to the chest.
Having gained popularity, the tar of this design quickly spread throughout the Caucasus.
Although the new music instrument is similar to the tar, it differs from it in a number of features.
The idea and copyright for a new music instrument called "RA.TAR" belong to Ramil Iskandarov
The new tar features a cow's heart membrane. The electronic tar is made of wood and it sounds in a completely new way.
Ramil Iskandarov expressed his hope that "RA.TAR" will become a popular music instrument both in Azerbaijan and abroad.
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