orig. Iran The kamancheh is a small fiddle with a long conical neck, a round wooden body covered in animal skin, and a spike protruding from the base. The instrument rests on the player's knee or on the ground and is swiveled on the spike to meet the bow as it is played.
Traditionally played in the improvised Islamic music known as mugham, the kamancheh's warm, elegant sound is reminiscent of the human voice, making it conducive to solo-virtuoso or small-ensemble playing. With early written references dating to the 12th century C.E., the kamancheh has been featured in courtly, folk, religious and secular settings for centuries.