Research reveals tanbur from The Al Thani Collection to be one of the oldest in existence
29 May 2020
The tanbur was the most important stringed instrument in Ottoman music of the 18th century; until recently the oldest was thought to be an example in the V&A that had previously been dated to 1850. The Awakening of a Tanbur by Karim Othman-Hassan dates both instruments to the early to mid-18th century; it also documents the restoration of the example in The Al Thani Collection, as well as detailing findings on the origin of the instrument, how it developed in the 18th and 19th centuries and how it was used. The tanbur from The Al Thani Collection has subsequently been used to play and record original 18th-century compositions in collaboration with eminent Ottoman historian and musician Kudsi Erguner.
The publication, together with video footage and a selection of the audio recordings, is available here.