On May 25, 2011 the Ministry of Communications and Information of the Republic of Belarus has issued the stamps “Wheel lyra” and “Tar” from the series “Joint issue of Belarus and Azerbaijan. Musical instruments”.
The wheel lyra is an ancient stringed folk instrument of Belarus. In olden times it was played by wandering musicians and blind balladeers.When the musician is in sitting he holds the instrument on his knees, when standing — on a strap over his shoulder. With one hand he pushes the keys playing a melody, with the other hand he turns the protruding wheel which touches the strings creating the permanent accompaniment. The wheel lyra has a strong, sharp, somewhat nasal tone. Its quality is largely depends on the wheel, it must have a precise centring.
The tar is a stringed pizzicato musical instrument widespread in Azerbaijan. This is one of the few national musical instruments for which they specially create musical works.
While playing the musician holds the tar at the breast by his right hand in a horizontal position. With the same hand he plucks the strings by a plectrum. Technical and artistic capabilities of the tar are implemented through trills and different techniques of the plectrum strike.