Tanbura

tamboura 2

The tanbura is a five gut-stringed, lyre-like instrument, tensioned on a decorated timber frame. It’s most commonly used during the zar ritual. The strings are tuned to a pentatonic scale. It is played with the fingers plucking the strings with one hand, usually the right, the other hand being used to create the notes and to dampen the strings. It is often confused with the simsimiyya (which originates from the Nile Delta) or the Nubian kissar.