The etchnic culture of Azerbaijan
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Sounding of instrument

(decorated with bone)
B. Salahov' private collection. Sumgayit. 1955.

The daf is a percussion instrument that has occupied a special place in Azerbaijan's national musical culture.

Medieval musical majlises could never have been imagined without the daf. Khagani wrote:

Look at the daf player
And you will see the excitement of the hunt.
The daf is like a hunting ground
Where one is fighting with another.

The medieval miniatures that depict palace musical majlises show the daf as being part of instrumental ensembles such as the chang-ney-daf, the barbat-chang-ney-daf and the ney-tanbur- daf. The daf features pairs of copper cups on four sides of the body, with the rims facing each together. This provides the instrument with the timbre of an idio-membranophone. Today, however, this instrument is rarely used. Its sturgeon skin membrane is stretched over a round frame made of nut wood. The diameter is 250-260 mm, and the height is 45-50 mm.

Just like the naghara, gosha naghara, gaval and other percussion instruments, the laggutu is widely used in modern ensembles ana1 orchestras of national instruments (photo). The laggutu is used mainly in the musical folklore of the southern regions of Azerbaijan: Astara, Lankaran, Masalli and Jalilabad. The laggutu is placed on a platform, and the performer plays it with two wooden sticks. Usually, the laggutu is 250x125x50 mm in size and made of walnut, apricot, mulberry or beech wood. The instrument is hewn out in a special way: the upper part is hewn deeper than the lower part, which gives a special timbre to the instrument. The etymology of the name of the instrument is probably related to its timbre.


        © Musigi Dunyasi