The Mazhar Instrument (مزهر)

The mazhar (Arabic: مزهر; plural mazāhar, مزاهر) is a large, heavy tambourine used in Arabic music. The mazhar's frame is generally made out of wood. Its single head is considerably thicker than that of the riq, its smaller cousin. Some drums have brass zills that are about 10–13 centimetres (4–5 inches) in diameter; these may be played with a shaking technique.

Mazhar is an Arabic word that means "the place or person where something appears" or "apparition". In Religious Music, the word "Mazhar" means a large, heavy tambourine, which is larger than the Def and Bendir. The Mazhar's frame is usually made of wood. The instrument's brass jingles are quite large (4-5 inches / 10–13 cm in diameter). It is designed for heavy pounding and shaking to sound loud.

The Mazhar is an ancient musical instrument. In ancient times, it was only used in religious processions or wedding ceremonies, during the Zaffa ("Wedding Ceremony"). This musical procession also included belly dancers, horns, men carrying flaming swords, bendir drums, and bagpipes.

Although this instrument can be used in polyphonic works for special purposes, it is generally said to disrupt the ensemble in monophonic classical or modern choirs. For this reason, since it is not a widely used instrument, the person who has found fame in its performance has not been trained. However, recently, some young people have turned to this field, and with their performance, the interest of others in these instruments is increasing day by day.

Today, it is used mainly in Egyptian popular music or in belly dancing. Because its voice is quite strong, the Mazhar is generally used by Egyptian percussionists in big events like Hafla.

It can be said that Riq is the smaller cousin of the Mazhar. The Mazhar's single head is considerably thicker than that of the Riq.