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【Instrument】Satar / 【乐器】萨塔尔 / ساتار

The Satar is a Uyghur string instrument, referred to as the sataer (塞他尔) in old. Chinese documents. The instrument has a long history. With an outer appearance and similarities with the tambur and a bright timbre, it can be used for solo performances, complex orchestration and as an accompaniment for performance of the 12 muqams.


The instrument is popular in many parts of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region such as Khotan, Shache, Kuche and other areas where Uyghur classical music as found in the 12 moqams thrives. It is also regarded as the main instrument of the Turpan Moqam in the Turpan region.


The Satar is constructed with wood and is about 1.38 meters long. The instrument has a long resonator base made from a single piece of mulberry wood. On the thin board of the upper part, there is a beautiful crescent moon eyebrow sound hole on both sides of the upper part of the code. The neck is long and inlaid with patterns made of bone. The high-pitched sound is sharp and slightly metallic; the midrange is bright and beautiful; the bass is thick and slightly hoarse. The main string can have a range of up to two octaves.

萨塔尔通体木制,通长1380 毫米左右,共鸣箱为长瓢形,由整块桑木挖槽而成。上蒙薄木板,琴码上方两侧各有新月眉 状音孔一个。琴杆硕长,并嵌以骨质花纹装饰。高音区音色尖锐,略带金属声;中音区音色明亮优美;低音区音 色浑厚,略带沙哑声。主奏弦音域可达两个八度以上。

Living Mythologies Collaborative Artist Adil Playing Satar (2015)


The history of Satar is relatively long. According to the History of Music (A classical Uyghur manuscript) written by Mullah Esmu Tulamuji in 1854, as early as the 14th and 15th centuries, this instrument has appeared and had well-known performers within Uyghur circles. It was first popular in the Kashgar and Shache regions of southern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and later spread to all parts of northern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. In the 1950s, the Satar found its way to the border town of Yining, where the Kazakh minority nationality and other nationalities live. Nowadays it has found its way northward to all parts of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and has become a favorite stringed instrument of Uygur people in most regions.



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