Setar (from seh, meaning “three” and tār, meaning “string”) is a Persian musical instrument used across Greater Iran and Central Asia. It is a member of the lute family, which is played with index finger of the right hand. Two and a half centuries ago, a fourth string was added to Setar. it has 25 – 27 moveable frets. It originated in Persia before the spread of Islam.
The Setar is a four stringed lute. Two of the strings are made of steel, two are of brass, and they are tuned to C, C semi-sharp, G, and C semi-sharp, respectively. Setar is entirely made of wood (mostly mulberry and walnut), unlike the Tar which has a membrane stretched across the body. Also, unlike the Tar, the player may plucks the strings with the nail of the index finger, instead of using a plectrum.