Azerbaijani nagara

Nagara is an Azerbaijani folk percussion musical instrument, a type of a drum. Translated from Arabic, the word “nagara” means “tapping”. The nagara, with its powerful sound dynamics, allows achieving different colour tones. Based on the dimensions, the Azerbaijani nagara is divided into large, medium and small drums. There is a “nagara” in the form […]


Gaval (daf) is an Azerbaijani folk percussion musical instrument. It is one of the few musical instruments that are still preserved in its original form. The gaval has a circular wooden frame with the skin of a sturgeon stretched over it. Sometimes, 60-70 copper or metal rings are mounted to the frame, which create a […]

Azerbaijani kanon

Azerbaijani kanon

Kanon is a plucked string musical instrument with a trapezoidal body. The Azerbaijani kanon has a flat wooden case of trapezoidal shape. The Azerbaijani kanon differs from the Turkish and Arabic. The upper part of the kanon consists of a wooden casing; the remaining part is covered with fish skin. 24 rows of triple strings […]



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 […]


Azerbaijani kamancha is an Azerbaijani folk bowed string musical instrument. It is a necessary part of professional ensembles of traditional music – Azerbaijani mugham, and is also used as a solo instrument. The Azerbaijani kamancha consists of a body and neck with a tip, which passes through the inside of the body out and connects […]


Arms and crafts in Azerbaijan

Rich reserves of metal ores, a long-time crafts tradition and the constant threat of hostile invasions assisted Azerbaijan in developing Arms and crafts production. A hundred years’ experience of oriental armourers, enriched with local craft traditions, is embodied in Azerbaijani weapons. These weapons, richly decorated using various techniques and ornaments are a unique phenomenon in […]

A girl from Shamakhy

A girl from Shamakhy. Painter – Prince G. Gagarin

A girl from Shamakhy (Shamakhy is a town in the central part of Azerbaijan, the centre of historical area Shirvan), pictured with a musical instrument «shirvan tanbur». This ancient stringed instrument was the ancestor of the musical instrument “saz“. A Russian painter, vice president of the Russian Imperial Academy of Arts, Prince Grigory Gagarin (1810-1893), […]


Balaban is a woodwind musical instrument with a double reed. It is a tube with 9 holes. An example of balaban, made from a bone, was found in a grave from the 1 century BC in Mingachevir. The name of the instrument comes from the words “bala” which means smaller and “ban” which means a […]


Zurna – musical instrument

Zurna – (literally “festive flute”) is a woodwind musical instrument with a double reed. It is a wooden tube with a neck and a few (typically 8-9) holes (one of which is located on the side opposite the others). During archaeological excavations, four zurna examples made ​​from deer antlers were found in a grave of […]

World cultural treasure

Azerbaijan with its ancient and rich culture brings a significant contribution to the world cultural treasure chest. The list of Azerbaijan UNESCO intangible cultural masterpieces includes 6 items: Azerbaijani mugham is a genre of Azerbaijani traditional music – complex vocal-instrumental compositions. Azerbaijani art of ashugs – set of poetry, art of storytelling, dances and vocal […]