Object 3: Dombra

May 28, 2021


Dombra is a type of guitar in Central Asia. A lot of countries like Kazakhstan use it as a symbol of culture and art. It has a pear shaped bottom, a long thin neck and two strings. This is interesting from TOK’s perspective because it developed the art industry in Central Asia. Folk music is the main genre of music and in the past singing was the only contribution to it. Dombra was the first instrument that was created and has brought a revolution to the music industry. It added rhythm and made people realise that there is something else besides singing and people can create songs with singing and instruments. Nobody knows how the dombra was made, but the knowledge of playing it came from the nomads using rocks and surface to create rhythm. The design of the dombra allows people to play with the strings and the surface ( playing with rocks) to create melody.The way of how they play and paint national ornaments on the surface portray the nation’s culture and lifestyle. This enriches the exhibitions because the culture of doing something can lead to development of something. In addition, this is interesting from the TOK’s perspective because it inspired the creation of other instruments. For example, in the 18th century Russia had a close relationship with Asia and it created an instrument called balalaika. Balalaika is a type of a guitar that is similar to a dombra, but has a triangle shape with three strings. This shows that using one culture can influence the creation of other instruments. Dombra is used in all Central Asia countries, until this day, as a symbol of the art industry and folk music. Dombra shows the relationship between knowledge and culture because the culture of playing has given countries the knowledge about what kind of instruments could be made.

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