The sorna is played in different parts of the world from Greece to India. In Iran, the history of this instrument dates back to the Sasanid era (224-651 CE). Then, we can find the traces of this instrument in Farabi’s Musiqi al-Kabir. This Iranian philosopher of the tenth century studied the wind instruments of his time and explained them in his book. The sorna is made of wood and it is almost played in all parts of Iran.
The sorna has a mouthpiece. Its length is something from 30 to 50 cm and varies in different regions. The sorna has a powerful sound and is usually accompanied by a percussion instrument mostly the dohol. In the past the sorna was always played in all kinds of ceremonies including weddings, funerals, religious ceremonies, and wars. Today, plus its traditional usage, the sorna is used in orchestras as well.
This instrument in the different regions of Iran has its own timber and can be distinguished from its other counterparts. For example, distinguishing Lori, Mazandarani, Khorasani, and Kurdish sornas from each other is easy. Today, many different provinces of Iran have their own sornas. Some of these regions are: Khorasan, Gilan, Mazandaran, Kerman, Baluchistan, Hormozgan, Azerbaijan, Lorestan, and the foothills of the Alborz mountain range.