Persian plucked musical instrument with three strings / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A setar (Persian: سه‌تار, pronounced [seˈt̪ʰɒːɾ]) is a stringed instrument, a type of lute used in Persian traditional music, played solo or accompanying voice.[1] It is a member of the tanbur family of long-necked lutes with a range of more than two and a half octaves.[1] Originally a three stringed instrument, a fourth string was added by Mushtaq Ali Shah by the mid 19th century.[1] It is played with the index finger of the right hand.

Quick facts: String instrument, Other names, Classificatio...
Setar (سه‌تار‎)
A typical Iranian setar
String instrument
Other namessetaar or setâr
Classification Plucked
Hornbostel–Sachs classification321.321
(Necked-bowl lutes: instruments in which sound is produced by one or more vibrating strings, in which the resonator and string bearer are physically united and can not be separated without destroying the instrument, in which the strings run in a plane parallel to the sound table, whose body is shaped like a bowl)
DevelopedDeveloped by the 15th century, possibly earlier. 4th string added widely by 19th century
Playing range
Related instruments
Tambouras, Tar, Tanbur
Sound sample
A short clip in "Dastgahe Segah" using the Setar.

It has been speculated that the setar originated in Persia by the 9th century C.E.[2] A more conservative estimate says "it originated in the 15th century, or even earlier."[1]

Although related to the tanbur, in recent centuries, the setar has evolved so that, musically, it more closely resembles the tar, both in tuning and playing style.