Using various sources such as scores, literature, photos, interviews, and other pertinent data, this study examines the evolution of Dūlāb into a musical instrument.1 Dūlāb evolves from the concepts of Dūlāb Āsiyāb (mill wheel), Dūlāb Chāh (well wheel), and Dūlāb Falak (celestial sphere). Irrigation, mills, together with knowledge of astronomy and, finally, the conceptualization of the image in the mind of the writers and poets certainly were also the fledglings of Dūlāb in Persian culture. Here are the stages of note in the development of this musical instrument: (1) Poets’ broad employment of the word Dūlāb, although under different auspices; (2) compilation of views by Brethren of Purity (Ikhwān al-Ṣafā) as per their association of sounds with heaven by means of Dūlāb; (3) Rumi’s weaving of Dūlāb into his uber-mystical context whereby the symbolic discourse regarding it is systematically developed; (4) well wheels, mill wheels, and celestial sphere (falak) as well as spinning wheels and spinning Sufi rituals (samā‘).

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