Daf – ancient Azerbaijani musical instrument, an essential part of the Mugham trio

Baku, March 18, AZERTAC

Daf is an ancient Azerbaijani musical instrument and an essential part of Mugham, which is a traditional musical genre that expresses complex ideas, emotional significance, deep and holistic thinking, artistic excitement, and the development of various musical characters.

As a percussion instrument, the daf has held a special place in the national musical culture of Azerbaijan.

Medieval musical gatherings (majlis) could never have been imagined without the daf.

The famous Azerbaijani poet Khagani wrote: “Look at the daf player and you will see the excitement of the hunt. The daf is like a hunting ground where one fights with the other.

Medieval miniatures that depict palace musical gatherings show the daf as part of instrumental ensembles such as the chang-ney-daf, barbat-changney-daf, and ney-tanbur-daf.

The daf features pairs of copper cups on all four sides of the body, with the edges facing each other. This gives the instrument the timbre of an idio-membranophone. Today, however, this instrument is rarely used. Its sturgeon skin membrane is stretched over a round walnut wood frame. The diameter is 250-260 mm and the height is 45-50 mm.

Like other percussion instruments such as the naghara, gosha naghara, gaval and other percussion instruments, the Laggutu is widely used in modern ensembles and national instrument orchestras. Laggutu is used mainly in the musical folklore of the southern regions of Azerbaijan: Astara, Lankaran, Masalli and Jalilabad.

The laggutu is placed on a platform and the performer plays it with two wooden sticks. Usually the laggutu measures 250x125x50 mm and is made of walnut, apricot, mulberry or beech wood. The instrument is cut in a particular way: the upper part is cut deeper than the lower part, which gives a particular timbre to the instrument. The etymology of the instrument’s name is probably linked to its timbre.

AZERTAG.AZ :Daf – ancient Azerbaijani musical instrument, an essential part of the Mugham trio

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