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A setar, also spelled and romanized as setaar or setâr, is an Iranian musical instrument. It is a member of the lute family. It is played with the index finger of the right hand. The range of the setar spans more than two and a half octaves. Setar Instrument place in the same family and is near to Dutar & Tanboor and is these days is near to Tar. Playing Setar in Iran has many fans and mostly use for solo music.
Setar is one of the string instruments of Iranian music that is played with the fingernail of the right hand. This instrument has 4 strings made of steel and bronze that are stretched parallel to the neck from the bowl to the pegs. Setar has 28 movable fret that made of animal intestines or silk. Its sound is subtle and nasal and somewhat sad, and its sound range is from two bass below the carrier line to one above the carrier line, resulting in close to 3 octaves.
Setar previously placed in the same family with Dutar and Tanbur, and today it is much closer to Tar. In Iranian instrumental music, the use of the setar is very common; Although it is mostly used for solo. This instrument has a specific tuning for each device, but the fourth or fifth descending distance is usually fixed between the first and second strings. To perform setar, the percussionists sit on the floor or in a chair, place the bowl diagonally at a 45-degree angle on the right thigh, and move with the fingertips of the left hand the frets on the neck, and with the finger of the right hand they hit the strings.
In the construction of Setar, wood (walnut, mulberry, or maple) is used for the for the body, and (mulberry) for the plate, and (walnut) for the neck, and of metal (bronze and steel) for the strings, and of the bone for the neck decoration, Pegs and Nuts.
Setar is from the tanbur family, but today it is very close to the tar in terms of playing method, shape of neck and techniques. In the past, Setar had three strings and now it has four strings, the third and fourth strings are close to each other and are played at the same time, and the combination of them is usually called the “bam” string.
The setar has a velvety and delicate sound. Since it is played next to the fingernail of the right hand, the sound of the instrument has a direct connection with the nerves and psyche of the musician, and therefore the setar is often called the companion of times alone. Most listeners feel the setar has a sad tone and sound but is one of the most widely used and favorite instruments in original Iranian music.