Iranian (Persian)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 681

Kamanche is a Persian term that was first used in the 10th century to describe an instrument which is sounded with a bow. From there bowed instruments spread to Byzantium and Central Asia and the Far East, and then to Europe. In Egypt it is known as the rabab, a term which is known throughout the Islamic world from north Africa to southeast Asia.
Held upright on its spike, it is bowed with the right hand in a palm-up position. This handgrip, used when bowed instruments were introduced to Europe, is a type still in use globally when playing spike fiddles.

Kamanche, Wood, metal, etc., Iranian (Persian)

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