Famous people of Shusha

The people of Shusha made it the pearl of the Caucasus, the cradle of our culture, the mugham-singing heart of Azerbaijan

Famous people of Shusha

Mirza Sadig

Mirza Sadig (Sadiqjan-Sadig Asadoghlu, 1846, Shusha-1902, Shusha), was an Azerbaijani tar-player (sazanda) known for developing the Azerbaijani tar (or Caucasus tar or 11 string tar).

Sadig was born to a poor family of a watchman in Shusha. As a teenager, he took vocal lessons but lost his voice at the age of 18. He then took up pipe, kamancha and eventually tar. By his mid-20s he was already a well-known tar player in South Caucasus and the neighboring regions. In the 1890s he founded a musical ensemble, which included prominent folk singers and musicians performing Azerbaijani, Armenian and Georgian folk songs.

During the early 1870s, Sadig used the traditional tar to develop the new version of this instrument, which later became known as the Azerbaijani tar or the Caucasus tar. The traditional tar has 6 steel strings in 3 double-courses (the low one in octave). The Azerbaijani tar invented by Sadig has further one extra bass-string on the side, on a raised nut, and usually 2 double resonance strings via small metal nuts halfway the neck. All these strings are running next to the main strings over the bridge and are fixed to a string-holder and the edge of the body. Overall the Azerbaijani tar has 11 strings and 17 tones.

Early tar players held the instrument to their knees. Sadig developed a new manner by reducing the size of the instrument, and for the first time presented the play on a tar nestled to the chest. The Azerbaijani tar became a symbol of Azerbaijani music in the 20th century.