A musician playing the krar.
The krar or kraar is a five- or six-stringed bowl-shaped lyre from Eritrea and Ethiopia. The instrument is tuned to a pentatonic scale. A modern krar may be amplified, much in the same way as an electric guitar or violin.
A chordophone, the krar is usually decorated with wood, cloth and beads. Its five or six strings determine the available pitches. The instrument's tone depends on the musician's playing technique: bowing, strumming or plucking. If plucked, the instrument will produce a soft tone. Strumming, on the other hand, will yield a harmonious pulsation. The instrument is often played by musician-singers called azmari. It usually accompanies love songs and secular songs.
- Asnakech Worku, Ethiopiques 16: The Lady with the Krar (compact disc). Buda Musique 822652, 2003.
- Ethiopie, chants d'amour (Ethiopia, Love Songs). Fantahun Shewankochew, vocals and krar (compact disc). INEDIT/Maison des Cultures du Monde W260080, 1998.
- "The Bowl-Lyre of Northeast Africa. Krar: The Devil's Instrument", Ethnomusicology, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Sep., 1977), pp. 379-395. (Subscription link.)
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