Subdivision of Iranian musical instruments
String instruments (chordophones) are arched or mezrab (plectrum made by hand from a continuous wire) and each can be with a determined or indeterminate sound. There are instruments like the tār, the setār, the dotār, the tanbur, and the robāb capable of picking up different sounds on a string by pinching different points of it, or shortening or prolonging the duration of the string activity by the fingers; the stringed instruments that are played with the plectrum are determined.
In the santur and in the ghānun, in which only one sound can be obtained from each string, the strings cannot be plucked and the duration of the activity does not shorten or prolong with the fingers, they are instruments with an indeterminate sound. From the point of view of the mode of sound emission by the strings, they are divided into two groups: a martelletto (santur) and a plettro (ghānun).
The string instruments used in Iran are mostly determined.
Percussion instruments (membranophones) can be one or two-sided. Various types of dahol and tabl that are known by different names such as dahol, jureh, timbuk, dammām and mordās, are widespread in different areas of Iran and are two-sided membranous instruments whose body is cylindrical and has two openings covered by skin.
One-sided percussion instruments are divided into two groups: an open face and a closed face. The instruments of the family of tombaks (tombaks, the tombaks of the zurkhāneh, tampu, kāsureh etc ..) the dahol-e mogormān of Baluchistān, the sheikh faraj on the island of Khārk-e Bushehr etc .. are membranophonic instruments with a face whose body is cylindrical or semi-cylindrical and an opening is covered by leather.
Some percussion instruments open on one side, such as those of the daf group and the dāyereh, have a frame-like structure (ring or rattle instruments). Those closed on one side are divided into various types according to the shape of their body which can be similar to the egg, the vase, the bowl, the pot, etc.
These instruments have a closed sound box whose openings are covered by leather. The instruments of the naghāreh family in different areas of Iran fall into this group. Percussion instruments, depending on the type of stroke being given, are divided into two groups: direct or indirect percussion (dahol-e sheitān, dahol-e khabar in the Kurdistān, tablak or sheitān ghāvāli).
Some percussion instruments instead of beatings can emit a sound through friction or rubbing. They are also divided according to the material of their body which can be wood, metal, terracotta, stone, etc.
When playing some percussion instruments, the hands, the wood and both are used. They are accompanying instruments and can accompany singing or wind or string instruments.
Instruments that sound by vibration:
The instruments that play by their own vibration (idiophones-itophones) in which the sound is produced by the vibration of the instrument itself or of its main body, are divided into three groups: concussion, lamellophone (provided with reed, thin movable tongue), a friction or rubbing.
Concussion instruments are divided into two groups: direct or indirect percussion. The material of their body can be stone, wood, metal and terracotta and can have different shapes such as the truncheon, the plate, the vase, the plate, the spoon, the block, the box, the cylinder, the ribbon , the belt and the amphora.
Shagh shagh, ghāshogak, various types of plates, rattles, bells and bells, chains, tuslik, amphora etc ... are part of these.
Instruments that play by their own vibration lamellophones (provided with reeds) are divided into two groups according to the way they are played, with direct or indirect percussion (two types of zanburak ghupuz or ghāvuz a Torkmen Sahra).
The number of friction or rubbing instruments in Iran is irrelevant (ghārghārak).
The wind instruments (aerophones) in which the sound is produced thanks to the vibration of the air, are subdivided into two groups, free aerophones or resonant aerophones or real wind instruments. In the free type, the air outside the body of the instrument is subjected to vibration (as in the case of the varvarak of the mountain villages of Rudbār, in the Gilān region), while in the resonant type the air vibrates inside a canal or a loudspeaker.
Various types of flutes, horns, oboe, flute whistles etc. have an acoustic channel and the types of terra cotta whistle, shell trumpet, etc. have a speaker. Wind instruments can also be divided into two groups, with a determined or indeterminate sound.
In the first group, on the channel or on the sound box there are holes to pick up different sounds and opening or closing each of these you get different sounds; in the second group, the reception of different sounds is based on the rules of natural harmonic sounds in the channels or in the speakers.
The first group is in turn divided into mouth groups (family of flutes, pipes and whistle flutes), in those with reed and with the opening in the shape of a bowl and their mouths are divided into the group of flutes, pipes, whistle flutes (recorders); their body material can be wood, cane, metal or plastic.
The group of those with reeds, depending on the type of tongue, is divided into single-reed and double-reed instruments; the first group can have a single acoustic channel (gherni del Māzandārān, the flute torkmeno, the yekzāleh of the inhabitants of Kermānshāh, of Bushehr, of Hormozgān, of the Kurdistān and of the Khorāsān) or a double acoustic channel and this last group can be without the air tank (dozale, ghoshmeh and the ney jafati or double-barreled flute) or with (ney anbān, sort of bagpipe).
Also some oboes and horns (bālābān, narme nāy) have a double reed. Even the trumpet with shell or snail has a bowl-shaped opening. The aerophon instruments with indeterminate sound are divided into the reed groups (with the single and double acoustic channel), the bowl-shaped opening (with the single channel) and the material of their body can be made of cane, of bark of tree, horns, metal, wood, etc.