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Showing posts from December, 2006

Setar or Rebab from Uzbekistan

Sound clip of me playing this (Setar (or) Rabab)


My brother went to Kazakhstan recently, and bought a Setar (or Rubab, or maybe it's a kashgar rabab) when he crossed through to Uzbekistan for a part of his trip. I think he got it in the city of Samarkand. It's a small rounded mandolin sized instrument, with four strings - which seem to have very different tunings, not mandolin like at all. From looking at Wikipedia, it looks like some of the strings are sympathetic strings, i.e. drone strings. Two drones and two strings that play mostly solos, punctuated by some fast strikes of the drones. In gamelan music it's the only free instrument, that only has to abide by the rule of stopping on the beat. As a rebab it's played with great style in the afghan city of Herat, in slowly reawakening musical traditions. It is played with a bow in general, and is considered to be the precursor of the violin. In the tradition of Uzbek and Kazakh people it's an instrument of great i…