Ta'r (left), Egypt, picture p.366 in Edward William Lane. An Account of the Manners and Customs of Modern Egyptians (5th ed.).
This instrument has been depicted in images from Turkish shrines that date to 6000 BC. Making the Tar(frame drum) one of the most ancient musical instruments.
The tar is held mainly with one hand, although the playing hand can also play and supports the drum while playing (basically the other hand plays the drum). It has an open tone, and is often either played for accompaniment to other instruments or in tar ensembles.
Frame drums are common throughout the world. There are tar, bendir, bodhran, deff, duff, and many others. Many Native American cultures use the frame drum in ceremony and celebration. These drums seem simple, but are capable of great nuance and sophistication.
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