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Iran (Persian Gulf)

Also called "dombak" or "zarb", it is a chalice-shaped drum traditionally made from a hollowed out mulberry or walnut trunk, covered with skin on one end, of usually lamb or goat, and used in classical Iranian music. Zarb is an Arabic word meaning strike or beat, and the Persians have given it the connotation of rhythm or time. It is more specifically known as a "tombak" because of the two different ways of striking it, designated by the syllables "tom" and "bak". The instrument lies on your lap and off to one side while you play with your hands and fingertips. Melodic effects are possible by applying pressure at different points of the membrane giving a range of tones extending over an octave. In the hands of a master player it has an astonishing variety of highly expressive musical abilities.

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The WORLD BEATS video features live, costumed performances of ancient, ethnic, percussive traditions. Aaron Plunkett puts it all together in this fascinating 33 minute program. SEE MORE...

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