Dumbra

Name: Dumbra.
Type: Chordophones > Lute >
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.5
Area: Tatarstan.
Country: Russian Federation.
Region: Eurasia.

Description: The dumbra is a lute that is played by the Tatar people in the Republic of Tatarstan, it is also widespread in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan except among the Pamir. The southern Tajiks call a related instrument “dutorcha” or “dutori-mayda [dutar-i maida]. The dumbra resembles the Kazakh and Uzbek dombyra and the Afhani Turkmen dambura or dumbra.

Plucked with the fingers, it has a quiet sound but can be played vigorously. The dumbra was once part of the improvised epic tradition of steppe nomads. Currently, in the post-Soviet revival of traditional Tatar music, composed works are played on it.

Construction: The dumbra has a pear shaped or oval body, as seen with related musical instruments. The pear shaped body has a rounded back. And a long integral fretted neck [overall length 70 cm to 80 cm]. The dumbra was traditionally carved from a single piece of wood. The front is covered by a wooden soundtable pierced by a small soundhole. It has two wire strings tuned a 4th apart, passing over a small bridge placed low on the soundtable. The strings are hitched to a peg at the tail and attached at their tuning pegs.

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