Nagara (drum)

Nagara (drum)
Dhol caucasus.JPG
Other names Naghara, Doli, Koltuk Davulu, Dhol, Baraban
Classification Percussion instrument
Playing range
Rope tensioned

The nagara (Azerbaijani: nağara, Georgian: დოლი Armenian: դհոլ) is a folk drum with double head that is played on one side with the bare hands. It is performed in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey and other Caucasus regions. It has different names, according to the territory in which it is played. This membranophone is different from the dhol and nagara of India.



The nağara (also called koltuk davulu) is a Turkish folk drum or percussion instrument. It is placed under the arm and beaten with the hands. It is longer compared to the regular drums and its diameter is smaller. This is the same as the Azerbaijani naghara. There is a proverb in the Azerbaijani language that says "toy-dan-sora-naghara!" This literally means after the wedding ceremonies naghara! This instrument helped the doctors to deal with bad mood, melancholy, intellectual and physical exhaustion, as well as low blood pressure. It was considered that the Naghara could substitute for some medicinal plants and tones like spicy cloves. The rhythmic beating of the naghara is believed to lead to the strengthening of the heart. The naghara is described in the Early Middle Age Azerbaijani literary epic, "Kitabi Dada Gorgud" (Book of Dede Korkut) (The Book of my Grandfather). Instruments resembling the Naghara were also well known in ancient Egypt.

Thus, according to the rich scientific and musical heritage of our ancestors, it seems that not only did they listen to music for enjoyment and entertainment, but they perceived music a potent force in the prevention and treatment of various diseases.


The doli is played across Georgia in the Caucasus. The body consists of a hollow wooden cylinder covered with leather tightly attached to it with iron rings. It is played by palms and fingers, under or over the arm, while sitting or dancing. It is struck in the center to get the effect of forte and at the edges to get a piano effect. The doli’s height and diameter of sound producing surface are about 3 to 1. Men mostly play the doli. In performance the doli creates the rhythm of the dance. The doli is often combined with other regional instruments including the chonguri, the chiboni, the salamuri, the buzika and the duduki.


The dhol (Armenian: Դհոլ; pronounced "duh-hole") is an Armenian cylinder drum traditionally covered with goatskin on both sides, one high and one low in pitch. Seen here is a pre-fabricated head which is unaffected by changes in humidity, unlike natural skin. Played with the fingers and hands, the "dhol," rests in your lap and sets off to one side with one arm resting on top of the drum. The Dhol is the national percussion instrument of Armenia, used nowadays in almost every genre of traditional Armenian music. It is a versatile drum, very similar to the tom-tom of a standard drum set in shape. The shell is usually made of pear or apricot wood and is approximately 12 to 14 inches in diameter and 12 inches deep. Both ends of the cylinder are covered in sheep or goatskin and are adjustable for tension using rope lacing and small pulleys. A dhol is capable of producing a very wide range timbres and volume suitable for use in almost any setting.


In Circassia and Dagestan, this type of folk cylindrical drum with two skin heads is called baraban, different from the baraban (drum) of mainland Russia, which is played with sticks. See also Circassian Music.


In Chechenya there is a double-headed drum named jergh or watt.


External links

See also

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