|Other names||Kamancha, Kamanche, Kemancheh, Kamanjah, Kabak kemane|
|Art of crafting and playing with Kamantcheh/Kamancha, a bowed string musical instrument|
|Country||Azerbaijan and Iran|
|Inscription||2017 (13th session)|
The kamancheh (also kamānche or kamāncha) (Persian: کمانچه, Azerbaijani: kamança, Armenian: Քամանչա, Kurdish: کەمانچە ,kemançe) is a Persian bowed string instrument used in Persian, Azerbaijani, Armenian, and Kurdish music. The kamanchech is related to the rebab which is the historical ancestor of the kamancheh and the bowed Byzantine lyra. The strings are played with a variable-tension bow. It is widely used in the classical music of Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan with slight variations in the structure of the instrument.
Name and etymology
The word "kamancheh" means "little bow" in Persian (kæman, bow, and -cheh, diminutive). The Turkish word kemençe is borrowed from Persian, with the pronunciation adapted to Turkish phonology. It also denotes a bowed string instrument, but the Turkish version differs significantly in structure and sound from the Persian kamancheh. There is also an instrument called kabak kemane literally "pumpkin-shaped bow instrument" used in Turkish music which is only slightly different from the Iranian kamancheh.
The kamancheh has a long neck including fingerboard which kamancheh maker shapes it as a truncated inverse cone for easy bow moving in down section, pegbox in both side of which four pegs are placed, and finial Traditionally kamanchehs had three silk strings, but modern instruments have four metal strings. Kamanchehs may have highly ornate inlays and elaborately carved ivory tuning pegs. The body has a long upper neck and a lower bowl-shaped resonating chamber made from a gourd or wood, usually covered with a membrane made from the skin of a lamb, goat or sometimes a fish, on which the bridge is set. From the bottom protrudes a spike to support the kamancheh while it is being played, hence in English, the instrument is sometimes called the spiked fiddle. It is played sitting down held like a cello though it is about the length of a viol. The end-pin can rest on the knee or thigh while the player is seated in a chair.
Kamancheh is usually tuned like an ordinary violin (G, D, A, E).
Kamancha on the Armenian miniature, XVI or XVII century
Qajar Iran miniature of a woman playing the kamancheh.
The Armenian ashugh Sayat-Nova playing a kamanacheh, ca. 1964
Kamancheh player, Kermanshah, Iran, 2008.
Kamancha player, Yerevan
Notable kamancheh players
- List of bowed stringed instruments
- Music of Iran
- Music of Azerbaijan
- Byzantine lira
- Silk Road Ensemble
- Global Minstrels: Voices of World Music. Elijah Wald. 2012. p. 227. ISBN 9781135863685.
- "Kamancha". UNESCO.
In the Republic of Azerbaijan it constitutes a major element of classical and folkloric music, and performances occupy a central place in a wide number of social and cultural gatherings.
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- Martin, Andrew R.; Mihalka, Matthew Ph.D., eds. (2020). Music Around the World: A Global Encyclopedia [3 Volumes]. ABC-CLIO. p. 442. ISBN 9781610694995.
- "Art of crafting and playing with Kamantcheh/Kamancha, a bowed string musical instrument". UNESCO.
- loghatnaameh.com. "کمانچه – پارسی ویکی". Archived from the original on 2008-10-17.
- "Kabak kemane ve Kemancha hakkında rehber". Archived from the original on 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2014-07-05.
- Ch, R. A. M.; 51, Rakausika राम च (2013-03-08). "The Masters of Kamanche". A World Heritage Of Native Music. Retrieved 2017-05-16.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
- Jonathan M. Bloom, Sheila S. Blair (Ed.): `` The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture. Volume 1. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2009, p. 8
- Blum, Stephen (2010). "KAMĀNČA". In Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.). Encyclopædia Iranica, Volume XV/4: Kafir Kala–Ḵamsa of Jamāli. London and New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul. pp. 434–437. ISBN 978-1-934283-26-4.
- Libin, Laurence, ed. (2014). "Kamāncheh [k'aman, kamanche, kemence] (Pers. 'little bow')". The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (2 ed.). Oxford University Press.
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