String Instruments

The Role of the Tanbur in the Kurdish Folk Music


Kurdish folk music is a rich and vibrant tradition that incorporates a wide range of instruments. One of the most important of these is the Tanbur, a stringed instrument that has been used in Kurdish music for centuries. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the role of the Tanbur in Kurdish folk music and explore its history and significance.

The History of the Tanbur in Kurdish Music

The Tanbur is a long-necked stringed instrument that is believed to have originated in ancient Persia. It was later adopted by the Kurdish people and has become an integral part of Kurdish folk music. The instrument is often played during weddings, festivals, and other celebrations, where it is used to accompany singing and dancing.

The Significance of the Tanbur in Kurdish Music

The Tanbur plays a crucial role in Kurdish folk music. It is often used to create a rhythmic drone that provides a foundation for other instruments and singers. The sound of the Tanbur is warm and resonant, with a deep, almost mournful quality that is well-suited to the emotional themes found in many Kurdish songs.

The tanbur is typically played by a single musician who plucks the strings with a plectrum or with their fingers. It is common for the musician to sing along with the instrument, adding their voice to the overall sound of the performance. In this way, the Tanbur becomes more than just an instrument – it is a deeply personal expression of the musician’s feelings and emotions.

Boma Music’s Role in Promoting Kurdish Folk Music

Boma Music is a record label and music distribution company that is dedicated to promoting Kurdish folk music and other forms of world music. The company works with musicians from around the world, helping them to record and distribute their music to a global audience.

By working with Boma Music, Kurdish folk musicians have the opportunity to share their music with a wider audience than ever before, bringing the beauty and richness of their culture to people around the world. The Tanbur remains an important part of Kurdish folk music, and Boma Music is committed to helping to preserve and promote this ancient tradition for future generations to enjoy.


In conclusion, the Tanbur is a vital instrument in Kurdish folk music, providing a rich and resonant foundation for singers and other musicians. Its warm, mournful sound is well-suited to the emotional themes found in many Kurdish songs, making it an integral part of the culture and history of the Kurdish people. With the help of Boma Music and other organizations, this rich musical tradition is poised to continue to thrive and evolve in the years to come.

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