Name: Dombyra.
Type: Lute > Chordophones.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.4
Country: Kazakhstan, Turkestan [Xinjiang China] & Mongolia.
Region: Central Asia.

Description: The dombyra [in Kazakh: домбыра] is a long-necked Kazakh lute and a musical string instrument. The dombyra shares certain characteristics with the komuz and dutar. It is a popular instrument among Turkic communities in Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, in neighbouring Mongolia.

One of the greatest dombyra players was the Kazakh folk musician and composer Kurmangazy, who had a major influence on the development of Kazakh musical culture, including music for the dombyra; his musical composition “Adai” is popular in Kazakhstan and abroad.

Development: The instrument differs slightly in different regions. The Kazakh dombyra has frets that are tied on to the neck. Allowing the frets to be adjusted. The dombyra 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. In 2012 the elektro-dombyra was created.


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