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