Dutar: description of the instrument, composition, sound, history, use

Dutar: description of the instrument, composition, sound, history, use

Folk music lovers in the spring of 2019 gathered for the first time at the First International Music Festival of the Arts of Folk Storytellers in the Uzbek city of Termez. Folk musicians (bakhshi), singers, storytellers competed in the art of performing works of oriental folk epos, accompanying themselves on the dutar.


The stringed plucked musical instrument dutar is the most widespread and beloved by the peoples of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. It is analogous to the lute.

A thin pear-shaped soundboard has a thickness of no more than 3 millimeters, passes into a neck with a fingerboard. Tool length is about 1150-1300 mm. It has 3-17 forced vein frets and two strings – silk or intestinal.

Soundboard – the most important part of the instrument, is made of mulberry wood. Perceiving the vibrations of the strings, it transmits them to the air resonator, making the sound long and full. The thin gentle timbre of the dutar varies depending on the place where the silkworm grew: in the mountains, gardens or near a stormy river.

The sound of modern instruments is higher than that of ancient samples, due to the replacement of natural strings with metal, nylon or nylon threads. Since the mid-30s of the XNUMXth century, the dutar has become part of the Uzbek, Tajik and Turkmen orchestras of folk instruments.


Among the archaeological finds of the ancient Persian city of Mary, a figurine of a “wandering bakhshi” was found. It dates back to the XNUMXth century, and in one old manuscript there is an image of a girl playing the dutar.

There is little information, mainly they are taken from oriental legends – dastans, which are folklore processing of fairy tales or heroic myths. The events in them are somewhat exaggerated, the characters are idealized.

Not a single holiday or solemn event could do without bakhshi, his singing and the romantic sound of the dutar.

Since ancient times, bakhshis have been not only artists, but also soothsayers and healers. It is believed that the virtuoso skill of the performer is associated with his immersion in a trance.


Thanks to its wonderful sound, dutar occupies one of the first places of honor in the cultural traditions of the peoples of Central Asia. The repertoire is varied – from small everyday plays to large dastans. It is used as a solo, ensemble and singing accompaniment instrument. It is played by both professional and amateur musicians. Moreover, both men and women are allowed to play.

Виртуозная игра на дутаре

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