Tombak : Daryoush Zargari
Plus A Short Film
Tombak is the main percussion instrument performed in the tradition of Persian classical music. It is a goblet-shaped drum with a single head covered by a piece of lamb- or goat-skin, which is tightly stretched over the larger opening side of the instrument. The instrument is mainly made of mulberry or walnut wood; however, it is sometimes made of clay or rarely of metal as well. The performer holds the instrument horizontally on his thigh while striking it with his palms and fingers. There are a rich variety of performance techniques employed on this instrument such as different types of rolling and snapping the fingers. The name of the tombak seems to have an onomatopoeic origin, since "tom" is the low struck played on the center of the skin, while "bak" is the high struck performed on the side or periphery of the membrane. In addition to its role as an accompanying instrument in traditional ensembles of Persian classical music, the tombak has also become a solo instrument with which musicians can demonstrate their technical virtuosity thanks to the development of a variety of sophisticated performance techniques as well as rich ornamentations. Morphologically speaking, the tombak comprise five parts: Skin, Body, Throat, Small Opening and Large Opening. A piece of Skin covers the large opening. The Body of the instrument, which actually acts as its soundbox, is mainly made of wood. The cylindrical part of the instrument is called the Throat or nafir of the tombak. There are also two Openings or Mouths, one larger than the other. The Large Opening is covered by skin, while the Small Opening is not covered. ...