The kamānche or kamāncha (Persian: کمانچه) is a Persian bowed string instrument related to the bowed rebab, the historical ancestor of the kamancheh and also to the bowed lira of the Byzantine Empire, 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 and Turkmenistan, with slight variations in the structure of the instrument. In Kashmir, kamancha is known as saaz-i-kashmir.
Traditionally kamanchehs had three silk strings, but modern ones have four metal ones. Kamanchehs may have highly ornate inlays and fancy carved ivorytuning 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 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 aviola. The end-pin can rest on the knee or thigh while seated in a chair.
Famous Iranian kamancheh players include Ali-Asghar Bahari, Ardeshir Kamkar, Saeed Farajpouri, and Kayhan Kalhor. Famous Azeri kamancheh player isHabil Aliev.
The Turkish and Armenian kemenche or 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. Other bowed string instruments akin to the kamancheh, yet differing more than slightly from it, include thekemenche of the Pontic Greeks of the black Sea, the old Russian Gudok, the Persian Ghaychak, and the Kazakh Kobyz.
Persian traditional classical music also uses the ordinary violin with Persian tuning. The kamancheh and the ordinary violin are tuned in the same way and have the same range but different timbres due to their differing sound boxes.
A kamancheh is depicted on the reverse of the Azerbaijani 1 qəpik coin minted since 2006 and on the obverse of the Azerbaijani 1 manat banknote issued since 2006.
Mark Eliyahu is the son of oriental musicologist Perez Eliyahu, which is a musicial as well. Mark playes a caucasian instrument called Kamancha which is a sort of a Violin, with a deep penetration sound. He was born in the region of Dagastan, and grew up in a musical jewish home. In his childhood he studied western classical music yet he also started to learn his music roots, which might be similar to jewish music and turkish music. At the age of 16 encouraged by his parent he went to Greece study with the Master Ross Daly, there he heard the sound of the Kamanche by which he was chanted, and caused him to travel to Azerbaijan and study the Kamanche by the masterAdalat Vazirov. at the age of 18-19 (I think) after studying in an art highschool, he managed to move back to azarbeijan in order to study Kamancha music. He stayed there for two years, and as soon as he returned home to israel he composed a play for the Jerusalem theatre and later recieved a position, as a composer, for two international dance groups: Galili Dance in Holland and Gulbenkian Dance in Portugal. Two yeas later after touring the world and recieving awards abord, he returned home once more and found that his family moved to Arad (from Ariel in the center of israel), a southern city in the Judea desert in order to concetrate on music and creation. Mark himself says he loves the desert, and found himself secluding in the desert, playing out of his heard and talking to nature through his Kamancha. He also participated in musical meetings in the caves of Luzit, in the deset, with several other musicians.
Kemenche may refer to the following types of stringed bowed musical instruments: Kemenche of the Black Sea, Karadeniz kemençe, Pontic kemenche, or Pontic lyra, a box-shaped lute http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontic_Greeks#Music
Classical kemenche, Klasik kemençe, Armudî kemençe, or Politiki lyra, a bowl-shaped lute
Other bowed instruments have name sharing the same Persian etymology:Kamancheh, a spike lute, also known in Turkish as a Kabak kemane Cappadocian kemane, a instrument closely related to the Kemenche of the Black Sea, with added sympathetic strings