Tunable Tombak

Skin percussion  instruments comprise a resonance box  with a skin stretched across either or  both ends. Tuning in these instruments  is achieved by adjusting the skin  tension; in Iran, Tombak players  traditionally use heat in cold and humid  conditions to make the Tombak sound  louder and humidity in warm and dry  conditions to make the pith through the  lower notes. These adjustments are not  made to tune the Tombak with the melodic  instruments, but to have a better level  of volume.

How Tombak’s tuning system work?
  • The The  skin is in direct contact with the wood  and the edge is glued to an aluminum  strap ring.
  • There are eight pairs of There are eight pairs of  fine steel cable (D=1/16 in) which pull  the aluminum strap ring by using a  central tuning arm (CTA) which pulls all  eight pairs of tuning cables evenly and  simultaneously.
  • By using a handle at the bottom of Tombak we can  change the tension of the skin very rapidly even during live concerts!
  • There  are eight individual tuning Allen screws  around the resonance box to control the  pitch of the eight points around the  circle of the skin.

By using this  system we can tune the Tombak with one  of the preferred main notes of the  musical piece.