The instrument (from Persian “instrument”) is a stringed musical instrument of the lute type. It is a typical musical instrument of Azerbaijani ashugs. According to the “Encyclopaedia Iranica”, the instrument probably comes from shirvan tanbur, and even earlier gopuz, which is mentioned in the epos “Book of Dede Korkut”. The saz is mentioned in all poems of the poet Nizami Ganjavi (12th cent.).
The instrument has a pear-shaped body, a neck with tied sliding frets, a wooden soundboard (no leather membrane) and double or triple strings. Of the three types of the saz, the most widespread in Azerbaijan is “ana-saz” – 9-stringed or 8-stringed instrument. Slightly more compact in comparison is “goltug-saz” which has 6-7 strings, and the small “dshure-saz” which has 4-6 strings.
It is played using a plectrum made of cherry bark.
The instrument is one of those musical instruments which can be played as a solo, and in ensembles.