TAR (Plucked Lute):
Tar is one of the most ancient classical Iranian string instruments known for its highly original and traditional characteristics. It has six cords and is played by a metal plectrum or horn. The body, which is the instrument's main bowel, is usually made in two wooden pieces (of walnut or Indian berry trees). The handle is made separately and then connected to the bowel. The word "tar" was originally obtained from the Sanskrit word "tarah". It was made for the very first time with four cords, while the number was then increased to five and eventually to six. Its plectrum is either made from metal or a tough horn. Besides the conventional tars, two other types, alto (outar) and soprano, have also been made recently. It should be noted that tar is one of the most complete musical instruments.
Iranians consider the tar the "sultan of instruments." Its present form was developed in 18th century and has been the choice of Persian classical masters since. It has a double-bowl body of mulberry wood with a lambskin face. The fingerboard has 28 frets and the three double strings are played with a plectrum.
The long and narrow neck has a flat fingerboard running level to the membrane and ends in an elaborate box with nine wooden pegs of different dimensions, adding to the decorative effect. It has three courses of double ";singing"strings (each pair tuned in unison: the first two courses in plain steel, the third in wound copper), that are tuned in fourths (C, G, C) plus one ";flying"bass string (wound in copper and tuned in G (an octave lower than the singing middle course) that runs outside the fingerboard and passes over an extension of the nut. There are also two pairs of shorter sympathetic strings that run under the bass and over two small copper bridges about midway the upper side of the fingerboard: their tuning is variable according to the piece to be played and with the performer's tastes: (the tuning is somewhat imprecise also because both strings of the same pair are tightened by the same peg).