Kamanche

The kamanche, the Persian spike fiddle, dates back to antiquity. It has a small, hollowed hardwood body with a thin stretched membrane made from the skin of an animal or a fish. Its neck is cylindrical without frets, and it has four strings. It is played vertically in the manner of the European viol. The kamanches that appear in antique Persian paintings have three strings. It is suspected that the fourth string was added in the early twentieth century as the result of the introduction of the European violin to Persia.