Name: Tiqin.
Type: Chordophones > Fiddles > Huqins > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Bayin: 絲 Silk.
Tuning: E / a.
Country: China.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The tiqin [in Mandarin Chinese: 提琴; pinyin: tíqín] is a name applied to several two-stringed Chinese bowed string musical instruments in the huqin family of instruments. They are primarily played in Kungku Opera, Cantonese Music and Fujian in Taiwan.

Tiqin in Cantonese Music: Alternatively known as a zhutiqin [竹提琴] is a member of the “hard bow” [硬弓] ensemble in Cantonese opera. Its neck is made of hardwood, often suanzhi [酸枝, rosewood] or zitan [紫檀, red sandalwood]. The zhutiqin’s sound chamber is made of a very large section of bamboo larger than that of the erxian, another bowed string instrument used in Cantonese music.

Instead of snakeskin, the face is made of a piece of tong wood [桐, Firmiana simplex] or palm wood like the face of a yehu. The back of the sound chamber is made of the natural joint in bamboo, with sound holes cut in it. The tiqin used today in Cantonese opera is tuned to 仜-士 / mi-la / E-a the opposite of the erxian, which is tuned A-e.

Tiqin Tunings
Names in Chinese Tunings
  仜-士 E a

Additionally, the term tiqin is used in Chinese as a generic term referring to Western bowed string instruments of the violin family:

Tiqin Family
Name in Chinese Family
Xiao Tiqin 小提琴 Violin
Zhong Tiqin 中提琴 Viola
Da Tiqin 大提琴 Cello
Diyin Tiqin 低音提琴 Double Bass

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: The Met / Tiqin Article ;


Name: Tandura.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.5
Country: Rajasthan, India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The Tandura Also known as the ‘veena’ or ‘chautra’, it is used by the Meghwal, Kamad and Bhil communities in devotional group singing. The tandura can be found all over Rajasthan except in the district of Jalore.

Playing Techniques: The player wears a mezrab [pick] on the tip of the index finger, striking the strings with rhythmic stress from right to left. This technique differs from the classical method of playing tanpura in which the player uses percussive rhythmic techniques.



Name: Tanpura.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.5
Country: Many, India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The tanpura [in Hindi: तानपुरा ; in Tamil தண்புற ; in Malayalam തൻപുര ; in Telugu ; తంపుర Tampura or tambura, tanpuri] it is a long-necked plucked string instrument found in various forms in Indian music.

The tanpura is used throughout numerous forms of Indian Music. The tampura provides a constant loop, a rich pallet of timbre and colour. This is a determinant factor in the resulting sound. The tanpura played unchangingly during the complete performance.

History: Tanpuras form the root of the ensemble and indeed of the music itself, as the tanpura creates an acoustic dynamic reference chord from which the ragas [melodic modes] derive their distinctive character, colour and flavour. Stephen Slawek notes that by the end of the 16th century, the tanpura had “fully developed in its modern form”, and was seen in the miniature paintings of the Mughals. Slawek further suggests that due to structural similarity the sitar and tanpura share a related history.

Sizes & Tunings: Tanpuras come in different sizes and pitches: larger “males”, smaller “females” for vocalists, and a yet smaller version is used for accompanying sitar or sarod, called tanpuri. These play at the octave so as not to drown out the soloist’s lower registers.

Tanpura Tunings
Role Intervals Tunings
Sarode Player 5 8 8 1 G C C c
Sitarist G# C# C# c#
Saranghi Player D A d a
Bansuri Player E A e a
Saranghi Player F A# F a#
A D a d
Bb Eb Bb eb [flat]

The tanpura is tuned in accordance to the Vadi / Samvadi of the raga being performed. The sound of the tampura provides the backbone and colour of the raga. Male vocalists use the biggest instruments and pitch their tonic note [Sa], often at D / C♯ or lower. Some go down to B-flat. Female singers usually a fifth higher. Though these tonic notes may vary according to the preference of the singer. As there is no absolute and fixed pitch-reference in the Indian Classical music systems.

The standard tuning for the tampura is 5 / 8 / 8 / 1 or or G / C / C / c’ A fifth and octave apart. In the Indian notation system “Sargam” the tuning for the tampura is rendered as Pa / sa / sa / sa or P / S / S / s’. Tunings vary upon from the preference of the vocalist or instrumentalist to the ragas being performed on stage. Often the tampura would be tuned to the binary Vadi / Samvadi notes of the raga.

Musicians who perform with the tanpura to provide a drone to accompany the lead instrument or vocals would often tune their tampura’s to a desired pitch. For example, a female singer may take her [sa] at F whereas another vocalist or musician may tune their tampura to A [pa]. A sitariyas or sitar players tune mostly around C♯, sarodiyas [Sarode players] around C.

Sarangiyas [saranghi players] vary more between D and F♯ and bansuriyas [bansuri players] mostly play from E. The tanpura is also tuned in accordance to the Vadi / Samvadi of the raga being performed. The sound of the tampura provides the backbone and colour of the raga.

Construction: The body shape of the tanpura somewhat resembles that of the sitar, but it has no frets – as the strings are always plucked at their full lengths. One or more tanpuras may be used to accompany vocalists or instrumentalists. It has four or five [rarely six] metal strings, which are plucked one after another in a regular pattern to create a harmonic resonance on the basic notes of a key. The male tanpura has an open string length of approximately one metre; the female is three-fourths of the male.

Varieties: The miraj style is favoured tanpura for Hindustani [North Indian Classical Music] performers. It is usually between three and five feet in length, with a carved, rounded resonator plate [tabli] and a long, hollow straight neck, in section resembling a rounded capital D. The round lower chamber to which the [tabli], the connecting heel-piece and the neck [dandh] are fixed is cut from a selected and dried gourd [tumba]. Wood used is either tun or teak; bridges are usually cut from one piece of bone.

Tanjore Style: This is a south Indian style of tambura, used widely by Carnatic performers. It has a somewhat different shape and style of decoration from that of the miraj although the miraj and tanjore tampura of the same size. Typically, no gourd is used, but the spherical part is gouged out of a solid block of wood. The neck is somewhat smaller in diameter. Jackfruit [Artocarpus heterophyllus] is used throughout; bridges are usually cut from one piece of rosewood. Often, two rosettes are drilled out and ornamented with inlay work.

Citations: Bibliography: On some Indian string instruments 1921 Sir C V Raman, FRS, M. A., D.Sc. [Hon], Palit Professor of Physics at the University of Calcutta, Nobel Prize, 1930 ; Beyond Swayambhu Gandhar: An analysis of perceived tanpura notes. Paritosh K. Pandya. Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai [date missing] ; Ashok Damodar Ranade, 1 January 1990 – Keywords and concepts: Hindustani classical music. Promilla. ISBN 978-81-85002-12-5.source for Sangit Parijat is Ahobal Pandit, translated by Kalind-Hatvas, Sangeet Karyalaya 1971 ; Wim van der Meer – Joep Bor: De roep van de Kokila, historische en hedendaagse aspekten van de Indiase muziek; Martinus Nijhoff, Gravenhage 1982, ISBN 90 247 9079 4 ; Hindustani Music, 13th to 20th centuries, editors: Joep Bor, Françoise Delvoye, Jane Harvey & Emmy te Nijenhuis; Codarts, Manohar 2010 ; Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy 1995. The Rāgs of North Indian Music: Their Structure and Evolution. Popular Prakashan. ISBN 978-81-7154-395-3 ;


Name: Tamboura.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 321.312.6
Country: Greece & Turkey.
Region: Mediterranean & Asia Minor.

Description: The tambouras [in Greek: ταμπουράς in IPA: tabuˈras] is a Greek traditional string instrument of Byzantine origin. It has existed since at least the 10th century, when it was known in Assyria and Egypt. At that time, it might have between two and six strings. The neighbouring Turkish and Arabs have adapted the instrument called it tambur. The characteristic long neck and two strings, tuned a fifth apart.

It has been considered that the tambouras’ ancestor is the ancient Greek pandouris, also known as pandoura, pandouros or pandourida [πανδουρίς, πανδούρα, πάνδουρος] from which the word is derived. The tambouras is mentioned in the Byzantine epic of Digenis Akritas, when the hero plays his θαμπούριν, thambourin [medieval form of tambouras]: It also similar instrument Tambur in Turkish and each of them have same origin.

“ Και αφότου αποδείπνησεν, εμπαίνει εις το κουβούκλιν
και επήρεν το θαμπούριν του και αποκατάστησέν το “.

” When he had finished his meal, he entered his chamber
and picked up his tamboura [thambourin] and tuned it”.

— Digenis Akritis, Escorial version, vv. 826-827, ed. and transl. Elizabeth Jeffreys.

Citations: Bibliography: Eleni Kallimopoulou 2009 Paradosiaká: Music, Meaning and Identity in Modern Greece, SOAS musicology series, Ashgate Publishing, pp. 50 & 53, ISBN 978-0-7546-6630-1 ; Traditional Stringed Instruments of Greece” ; The Stringed Instrument Database ; Λεξικό της κοινής νεοελληνικής, ed. Institute of Manolis Triantafyllidis, 1998 ; “ταμπουράς” tamboura” at Oxforddictionaries.com – John Shepherd 2003, Performance and Production, Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World: Volume II: Performance and Production, 11, Continuum, p. 68, ISBN 978-0-8264-6322-7 ; Anogeianakis, Foivos. Ellinika Laika Mousika Organa. Athens: Melissa, 1991 [2nd Edition] ; Jeffreys, Elizabeth. Digenis Akritis ; The Grottaferrata and Escorial Versions. Cambridge University Press, 1998 ; Grapsas, Nikos, Tambouras. Methodos Didaskalias. Athens: Nikolaidis, 2007 ;


Name: Tamburica.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 321.312.6
Country: Croatia & Hungary.
Region: Balkans > South Eastern Europe.

Description: The tamburica or [in Serbo-Croatian & Macedonian Тамбурица tamburica] meaning “Little tamboura” ; in Hungarian: tambura; in Greek: Ταμπουράς, in Slovenian: tamburrizza] is a lute that is played in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, North Macedonia and Hungary. Throughout the 19th century the tamburica became popular in Slavonia and Vojvodina.

Tamburica Tunings
Names Strings Family Tunings
Prim E 8 Strings Bisernica
Prim D 8 Strings Bisernica D F# A D
Prim G 8 Strings Bisernica G D A E
Bas-prim Brač G D A E
Čelović 4 Strings Čelović E A D G
Čelović 5 or 6 String Čelović D G C G
Bugarija Kontra G B D G
Bugarija Kontra D F# A D
Bugarija Kontra E G B E
Čelo [cselló] Čelo [Cselló]
Bas Berda / Begeš

History: The tamburica was introduced by the Ottoman Turks in the 14th century and 15th centuries. The oldest written documentation of the tamburica is dated to 1551. It was described in the travel documents written by N. Nicolaja, a French consul in Turkey. The ancestry of the tamburica can be traced back to the tambura – a lute from Mesopotamia.

There is little reliable data showing the migration pattern of the tambura as it entered Central Europe. It already existed during Byzantine Empire, and the Greeks and Slavs used to call “pandouras” [see pandoura] or “tambouras” the ancestor of modern bouzouki. The instrument was referred to as θαμπούριν, thambourin in the Byzantine Empire [confer Digenis Akritas, Escorial version, vv. 826-827, ed. and translation by. Elizabeth Jeffrey].

Construction: The body of the tamburica is hollowed from from pear or oak. Sometimes the body may also be made from tortoise shells. Originally the neck and body would be carved from the same piece of wood. Recently the body is made from separate pieces of wood, neck, body and head stock.

The body is covered with a sound board which is usually smoked, fir or oak also called the hangover [tahta]. The upper part of the hardwood washer was not to be damaged by the hoof. Approximately sometimes 8 to 24 sound holes are drilled into the soundboard. A fingerboard with frets is installed near the finishing of the instrument. Machine gear tuners from four, six or eight strings are added depending on their role in the tamburica orchestra.

Citations: Bibliography: March, Richard The Tamburitza Tradition: From the Balkans to the American Midwest. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 9780299296032 ; Elizabeth Jeffreys, John Haldon, Robin Cormack, The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 928 Nikos Maliaras, Byzantina mousika organa, EPN 1023, ISBN 978-960-7554-44-4 ; Andrić, Josip: »Tambura«, in: Kovačević, K. [ur.], Music Encyclopedia , Zagreb : JLZ , 1977, vol. 3, p. 542-543, p. 544-545; Andrić, Josip: » Tamburksi Zbor [Orkestar] ; Websites: tambura.com.hr


Name: Danburo.
Type: Chordophones > Lute.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.5
Country: Sindh, Balochistan, Pakistan.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The danburo is a lute with a pear shaped body and a long neck. It is found in both Balochistan and Sindh, Pakistan. Where it often accompanied by the Sorud [a double-chested bowed instrument similar to the sarinda].

Construction: The danburo is a long necked lute having a pear shaped resonator and affixed with a sound table. The sound table is adjoined to a long tapering neck with a small projecting ridge around the joint. Six copper-wire frets are bound to the neck but only of the upper half closest to the body. Extra tones can be obtained on the open region of the neck.

Citations: Bibliography: N. A. Baloch: Musical Instruments of the Lower Indus Valley of Sindh, Hyderabad, 1966 ; J. Jenkins and P. R. Olsen: Music and Musical Instruments in the World of Islam, London 1976 ; Alastair Dick, Stanley Sadie – New Grove Dictionary Of Musical Instruments Vol. 1, Book A to F Page 541 ;


Name: Doshpuluur.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.5
Tunings: B / F# / B
Luther: Marat Damdyn.
Country: Tuva, Russian Federation.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The doshpuluur [in Tuvan: дошпулуур, doshpuluur] it is a lute that is found in Tuva. It is related to other neighbouring lutes, “topshur”. Like other stringed instruments of Tuva, it is traditionally used as an accompaniment for a solo performance.

Traditionally doshpuluur had only two strings, three stringed instruments are the most common nowadays. There are even four stringed Doshpuluur available. The doshpuluur is played by plucking and strumming.

Tuning: The two strings are commonly tuned a perfect fifth apart, with the third string usually forming the octave. Sometimes the two strings are tuned a perfect fourth apart. My instrument came with the tuning B / F# / B.

Construction: The doshpuluur is built around a slightly tapered rectangular body. The body is created from a frame, that is stretched with two membranes of animal hide over each side. The doshpuluur has a neck that is inserted into the body after a hole is drilled according to the diameter of the neck shaft.

The neck usually features a simple to ornate carving of a horses head as the head stock. The horse is a significant symbol in the mythology of this region. Hence its addition as ornamentation on musical stringed instruments, such as the doshpuluur [Tuvan] Morin Khuur [Mongolian]. These instruments are affixed with wooden friction tuning pegs. Although the use of machine gear guitar tuners on instruments such as the doshpuluur is common place.

The neck is inserted into the frame in which three strings travel from bottom of the instrument to the nut and head-stock. Originally wooden tuning pegs were used although it is the norm to see doshpuluur with guitar tuning gears attached in place. A moveable bridge is fitted underneath the strings.



Name: Thaboura.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.6
Country: Greece.
Region: South Eastern Europe & Mediterranean.

Description: The thaboura [in Greek: θαμπούρα] It is also known as Thabouri [“θαμπούρι”], Thavouri [“θαβούρι”] and Thavoura [“θαβούρα”]. A type of string instrument, it evolved from the Greek musical instrument tambouras.

It is bigger than tambouras and it has 3 strings or 3 pairs of strings. The thaboura’s history stretches back to the Byzantine culture and originated in the medieval Greece times.

Citations: Websites : Rebet Cafe blogspot.com [in Greek / Translated to English through Google Translate] ;


Name: Tzouras.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.6
Country: Greece.
Specimen: 1 in collection.
Region: South Eastern Europe > Mediterranean.
Acquisition Date: 1998.
Acquisition Source: Lark In The Morning, Pike Market, Seattle, Washington USA.

Description: The tzouras is a smaller sized lute than its bouzouki counterpart. It is played in Rebetika often as a solo or lead instrument. As with bouzouki both the trikordia [six stringed] tetracordia [eight stringed] are available. Frets are arranged in the chromatic 12 tone system divided per semitone.

Tzouras Tunings
Types Tunings
Trikordia [6 string 3 coursed] Dd / Aa / Dd
Trikordia [6 string 3 coursed] Dd / Gg / Dd
Tetracordia [8 string 4 course] Cc / Ff / Aa / Dd
Tetracordia [8 string 4 course] Dd / Gg / Bb / Ee



Name: Qanbus.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.6
Tuning: G / B / D / A / E
Country: Yemen, Malaysia.
Region: Middle East, Africa & South East Asia.

Description: A qanbūs or gambus [in Arabic: قنبوس‎ qanbūs] is a short-necked lute that originated in Yemen and spread throughout the Arabian peninsula. Sachs considered that it derived its name from the Turkic khomuz, but it is more comparable to the oud.

Distribution: The qanbūs spread throughout the Middle East, on route to South East Asia by trade routes on the Indian Ocean. Southeast Asia especially Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei where it is called the gambus, it sparked a whole musical genre of its own.

Today it is played in Johor, South Malaysia, in the traditional dance Zapin and other genres, such as the Malay ghazal and an ensemble known as kumpulan gambus “gambus group”. Kumpulan gambus can also be found active in Sabah, especially in the Bongawan district of East Malaysian Borneo. In the Comoros it is known as gabusi and in Zanzibar as gabbus.

Citations: Bibliography: Stanley Sadie ~ New Grove Dictionary of Music – Page 9, Gambus by Margaret J. Kartomi ;

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