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Kamancheh

From Academic Kids

The kamancheh or kamānche (كَمانچِه) (violinette) is a Persian instrument similar to a violin. Played with a variable-tension bow, the kamancheh consists of a round body made from gourd or wood, which acts as a sound box, covered with a thin sheep or fishskin membrane. Traditionally, kamanchehs have three silk strings, however, modern ones have four metal ones. At the bottom of the instrument is a spike to support the kamancheh while it is being played.

The instrument dates back to 15th century Persia.

About the length of a viola, kamanchehs are highly ornate, often with mother of pearl or bone inlays and beautifully carved ivory tuning pegs.

The kamancheh is the only bowed string instrument in classical Iranian music. Kayhan Kalhor is a famous kamancheh player.

The instrument is traditionally played while sitting down and is held like a cello, but the end-pin can rest on the knee or thigh while seated in a chair.

External link

Arash Dejkam's Iran Pages kamancheh section, features sound clips (http://www.dejkam.com/music/iran_traditional/instruments/kamancheh/)

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