Kamancheh (a spiked fiddle):
It is an ancient Iranian classical string instrument played by a special bow with a beautiful form, which is comprised of four main sections: a bowel, a handle, a base and a bow. Its bowel is spherical in shape, a portion of which is cut off and covered with a hide. In old days the bowel of Kamancheh was made from walnut wood, horsehide and silk. It was initially made of three cords. However, once violin was imported into Iran, besides the three cords, a fourth one was added, which became known as a Sol key. Its handle is made from wood obtained from bamboo, jujube and walnut trees. In old days its cords were made from silk, while later on metal cords replaced silk strands. Today violin wire cords are used as a substitute.
It is a common Iranian traditional instrument comprised, similar to other string instruments, of a handle, a bowel, a base, a handle cap, an earpiece and a bow.
Kemenche (Kemanche, Kamancha, Kemenše) is a spiked fiddle. It is played on the knee with a horse-hair bow which is tightened with the hand while playing.
Kamancheh (Spiked fiddle) is a part of musical instrument of the Middle East and it is believed that it originated in Iran. Kamancheh is ancestor to most Modern European and Asian bowed instruments. The contemporary kamancheh has four strings and played vertically. It has a conical neck with a small hollowed belly. The belly is made of walnut or mulberry wood with a thin stretched skin covering. Its history eventually leads to the violin family.
The kamancheh is the traditional classical bowed lute of Persian classical music and dates back to antiquity. It has a small, hollowed hardwood body with a thin stretched fish-skin membrane. Its neck is cylindrical, and it has four strings. Often known as the "spiked fiddle", because of the spike protruding from its lower end, it is played vertically in the manner of the European viol. The bowstrings are pulled by the player which accommodates subtle tone variations. It is suspected that the fourth string was added in the early twentieth century as the result of the introduction of western violin to Iran.
By Arash Dejkam