ia Sayrafi, Persian Music and TombLessons and Instruc

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Persian Drum
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Moaragh  Artwork
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 Natural texture
Tunable Tombak

  " Tombak : is a single-headed drum worked and chiseled from a piece of mulberry wood. A wet skin is stretched over the large end and glued with a string wound several times around the rim to hold the head while it dries. The instrument is played with the fingers of both hands. The right hand is used for deep sounds in the center and also high sounds near the rim, while the left hand concentrates on high sounds and snaps. A roll is produced by throwing the limp fingers of each hand alternately against the head. Other special techniques are employed to obtain various sounds such as snapping the third and fourth fingers against the skin near the rim, or depressing the skin to raise the pitch."
  Music and Song in Persia by Lloyd Miller

  " The Tombak . Performances of Persian art music now use the tombak (also dombak) or zarb as the chief percussion instrument. This is a small one-faced drum whose upper half is wider than the lower. Carved of a single block of wood, its body is hollow, open at the lower end and covered with a sheepskin membrane at the upper. Because this membrane is glued firmly onto the frame, gross differences in tuning cannot be obtained..."
  " Persian drummers, who have developed an elaborate technique, are able to produce a great variety of different sounds on the single face. For example, the thick, dull sound, Tom, comes from striking the center of the face with the whole hand; the sharp, dry sound, Bak, is produced by striking the face near the rim..."
  Classical Persian Music by Ella Zonis

  " ...The Tombak does not simply serve the function of a metronome. The melodic beat of the drum is usually woven into the music like any other instrument. At times, a Tombak player will adhere strictly to a set of notations, but in other instances he/she will improvise..." 

Basic Strokes of Tombak

by Matt Hannafin 2002


  " The Tombak (also called zarb) is the principle percussion instrument of Persian classical music. Its technique involves innumerable strokes and techniques employing all the fingers of both hands, alone and in combination.
 Strokes on the Tombak and strokes on the Doumbek (Arabic/Turkish-style goblet drum) are related, but they're very, very different..." 
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T Video SampleT Tombak player :Pedram Khavar zamini

Excerpts from "The Healing Power of the Drum"

"In the medical field, the hand drum is being used to help Alzheimer's patients improve their short-term memory and increase social interaction and to help autistic children increase their attention spans."

" I have personally witnessed the power of the drum to relax the tense, energize the tired,
and heal the emotionally wounded. I have also observed the hand drum's extraordinary and consistent ability to create states of euphoria, induce light trance, promote play, release anger and promote feelings of community and unity. "

"When people drum, they are generally having fun. It is difficult to be in a playful mode and be stressed at the same time. Also, the drum has the capacity to release negative feelings-of which stress is clearly one. When one hits the drum, he or she is placed squarely in the here and now..."

"The drum touches that part of us that knows nothing of cell phones, faxes and deadlines. This part of us to which the drum speaks knows only inner peace,
self-expression, and that which is our very basic life force. Drumming creates an island in time, where all else is shut out except the rhythms that issue forth from your fingertips at your pace, expressing your feelings at that present moment.

Is it any wonder our souls hunger for it? The only wonder is that a need so vital could be supplied by a vehicle so simple,
The DRUM." 
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More About Persian Music

Historical Overview of Persian Music

Periods in Persian History

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News & Press releases
  Research shows that music study helps develop critical thinking and self-discipline. It improves cognitive development, math and reading abilities,
SAT scores, spatial reasoning skills, and school attendance. Music students are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college, and less likely to be involved with gangs and substance abuse.
But music
programs in public schools are declining. Learn more




Embossing Artwork


Wood Carving (Monabat)

Tombak maker
Fereidoun Helmi
Ebrahim Ghanbari-mehr


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