The dutar (also dotar or doutar) is a traditional long-necked two-stringed lute found in Iran and Central Asia. Its name comes from the Persian word for "two strings". When played, the strings are usually plucked by the Uyghurs of Western China and strummed and plucked by the Tajiks, Turkmen, Uzbeks.
At the time of the Dutar's humble origins in the 15th century as a shepherd's instrument its strings were made from gut. However, with the opening up of the Silk Road, catgut gave way to strings made from twisted silk imported from China. To this day some instruments still feature silk strings, although nylon strings are also commonly used.
The dutar has a warm, dulcet tone. Typical sizes for the pear-shaped instrument range from one to two meters.