private collection. Baku.
goltug naghara is usually used in combination with
the zurna, balaban and other instruments (photo 2).
In former times, a wolf's skin was stretched over
the body of the instrument. Nizami Ganjavi described
the naghara in one of his poems:
The wolf skin naghara became agitated,
And stirred up the brain of the world.
Nowadays, the naghara is a leading instrument in ensembles
and orchestras composed of national instruments. The
word "naghara" comes from Arabic, meaning
"to hit". The performer plays the instrument
by striking it with the palms and fingers of both
hands. Some folk pieces are played with the help of
two lightweight drumsticks. Other techniques include
slapping, trilling and flicking. The naghara has a
strong, dynamic sound, with various nuances in timbre.
It can be played in the open air as well.
The goltug naghara is often used in folk ceremonies,
games and dances such as the "jangi", which
refers to a group dance reflecting the spirit of heroism
and fighting and incorporating elements of wrestling,
horseback riding, javelin throwing and fencing. (The
word "jangi" means "war" in Persian.)
The goltug naghara is also used for "yalli",
an ancient Azerbaijani mass folk dance performed mainly
during open-air festivities.
body of the goltug naghara may be made of walnut,
apricot or other kinds of wood. Its height is 350-360
mm, and its diameter is 300-310 mm.