Art About Music: “A Musical Gathering – Ottoman” (18th century)

(The one-stringed instrument in the middle is an ektar, a spiked lute. The ektar is also known as the ektara in India, where historically it was used by wandering bards and minstrels. The ektara is usually plucked, but in this painting the woman is depicted using a bow. Is she using her instrument to make melodies or drones, or both?)

One thought on “Art About Music: “A Musical Gathering – Ottoman” (18th century)

  1. I guess melodies, though I know nothing of the music of this region and period. There is no other melodic instrument pictured, and though the three behind the bowed player could be singers working off the drone, they aren’t painted as singing.

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