The Doyra


Percussion instruments belong to the group of musical instruments that were the first to be created. This round-shaped instrument, which is called differently as Doyra, Daf, Childirma and Charmanda, is regarded to be one of the ancient percussion instruments. Although such instruments are widely used in various peoples, under various names, made-on-stone pictures proving its antiquity and wide usage in ritual ceremonies have been found in Saymalitosh region, Uzbekistan.

Doyra originated as a women-played instrument and spread widely among Turkic peoples. Doyra is used as a major musical instrument in the ritual ceremonies of Uzbeks (long before the spread of Islam) that have remained up to now and are participated only by women. A woman who leads the ceremony has her own instrument and the instrument is used exclusively in this ceremony and at other time it is kept in material covering or wrapped in a fabric. In every ceremony an animal sacrifice’s blood is smeared on the Doyra and this blood is called – renewal.

According to our speculations the Doyra was originally played not with fingers but with special sticks. This method of performance has remained in the performance of shamans of the Northern peoples.

Before the Doyra was used to coordinate simultaneousness of words, phrases and movements made by everybody in religious ceremonies whereas later it became a men-played instrument to accompany other musical instruments and create rhythmical adaptation. The fact that it was played by women can be seen in the folklore-ethnographic groups survived by now in which women accompany the Doyra to their songs and Azerbaijanian singers play the Doyra themselves. Even though the rhythms played by women are very simple and easy to adapt to, the rhythms played by men now differ greatly. The diameter of the Doyra gradually grew smaller and smaller due to the change of the method of performing it. Besides, after it had become an instrument to constantly maintain musical rhythm it came into custom to heat it (when it’s heated over the fire its sonorousness rises). The diameter of Doyras used at the beginning and in the middle of the past century was rather big and the sound was dull.

A tendency to use the Doyra much wider in the Uzbek music, development of performing skills and its popularity started mainly in the second quarter of the XX century primarily owing to Ustoz Olim Komilov.

Doyra belongs to the type of percussion instruments such as Nogora, Kayrok, Safoil, Reznogora and Dol. It is found as a round musical instrument in other Eastern countries too, including India, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and is performed along with songs and dances. The instrument of Doyra is also played together with percussion instruments of Latin American, African countries and the performance of Eastern doyra-players impresses the world audience. One of the features of the Uzbek National Art that has become an essential part of Uzbeks is dances which are performed with the Doyra. The Doyra music had no note-script before. It has survived up to our days orally and by practical performance through generations. A famous scientist A.I.Petrosyan having developed the note system of the Doyra has created a method that involves 4 lines. The methods which were written using one line before are nowadays modified to four lines. At present People’s artists of Uzbekistan like Tuychi Inogomov,Gofur Azimov ,Rahim Isahojaev,Kahramon Dadayev, Odil Komolhojaev,Mamurjon Vahobov,Sattor Fozilov,Hasan Asimov,Talat Sayfiddinov, Honored artist of Uzbekistan Dilmuro,Holmurod,Elmurod Islamov’s,Habibulla Rasulov,Zabihilla Qurbonov, Abbos Kosimov, Murod and Maruf Azimovs as well as dozens of other performers are making their great contribution to the development of the Doyra art and to the spread of this invaluable instrument throughout the world.