- This article is about the Iranian kamancheh. For the related but different Pontian Greek, Turkish or Azerbaijan instrument see Kemenche.
|Other names||Kamancha, Kamanche, Kemancheh, Kamanjah, Kabak kemane|
Kamancheh (also kamānche or kamāncha) (Persian: کمانچه, Azerbaijani: kamança), is an Iranian bowed string instrument, used also in Armenian, Azerbaijani, Turkish, and Kurdish Music and related to the rebab, the historical ancestor of the kamancheh and also to the bowed Byzantine lyra, ancestor of the European violin family. The strings are played with a variable-tension bow: the word "kamancheh" means "little bow" in Persian (kæman, bow, and -cheh, diminutive). It is widely used in the classical music of Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kurdistan Regions with slight variations in the structure of the instrument.
Traditionally kamanchehs had three silk strings, but modern instruments have four metal strings. Kamanchehs may have highly ornate inlays and elaborate 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 viola. The end-pin can rest on the knee or thigh while the player is seated in a chair.
The Turkish kemençe is a bowed string instrument with a very similar or identical name, but it differs significantly in structure and sound from the Persian kamancheh. There is also an instrument called kabak kemane used in Turkish music which is only slightly different from the Persian kamancheh.
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- "Iranian string instrument 'Kamancheh' to be inscribed on UNESCO list". 11 April 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- loghatnaameh.com. "کمانچه - پارسی ویکی".
- "Pastimes of Central Asians. Musicians. A Man Practising the Kamancha, a Long-necked Stringed Instrument". World Digital Library. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "Kabak kemane ve Kemancha hakkında rehber".
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Media related to Kamancheh at Wikimedia Commons
- Farabi School
- About Kamanche and Kamanche Players
- Nay-Nava: The Encyclopedia of Persian Music Instruments
- An old video of Ali-Asghar Bahari, playing Kamancheh in Hafezieh, shiraz
- Ardeshir Kamkar and Mathaios Tsahouridis (kurdish/greek)
- The song called "Kamancha" composed by Sayat Nova
Kamanche at The Metropolitan Museum of Art: