All About Kamanche | How To Buy A Persian Or Azeri Kamancheh

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Tips For Purchasing A Good Kamanche

Searching for your ideal instrument is a thrilling and a rewarding journey. If you want to buy the right one, you need to love the process. Because finding the instrument that only feels right for you is not going to work. Buying a kemanche is no difference. If you follow the right steps and focus on main characteristics the right kemanche will almost pick you.

What is a Kamanche?

Kamancha or Kamanche is a bowed string instrument with a spherical body. In Persian, the word keamanche means “a small bow”. It has reached many countries but commonly used in the classical music of Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. The structure of the instrument is slightly different in each country. It also has some different names such as Kamanche, Kamancheh, Kemanche, Kemancha. The instrument is played in both folk and classical music.

What is the difference between Iranian and Azeri Kamanche?

Although it is used in both countries for centuries, there are some minor differences between the Persian and Azeri version of Kamancha. The first visible difference is the length of the neck. The neck of the Azeri version is 3 to 5 cm shorter than the Iranian Kamancheh.

The variety of the wood in use and the sound box of the instruments have some dissimilarities, too. The woods used in Persian model is mostly walnut and Mulberry whereas Azeri models are carved by both walnut and mulberry. Azeri Kamancha is usually made from one piece of wood and its spherical structure is hand carved. Persian models are traditionally made from sliced woods. The sound box gets its round shape from compressed woods.

Length of strings is 33 cm for Iranian and 29 cm for Azeri models. Formerly the silk strings were in use for the kemancha but in modern versions, metal strings took place instead. Traditionally the bow of an Azeri kemancha is made of slightly curved wood and horse hair. The hairs are not stretched tight and the player can adjust them to get softer or sharper sound.

How to play and tune a Kamanche?

It is soft and easy to listen timbre makes kemanche a suitable instrument for solo and ensemble. The player rests the Kamanche on the knee and instead of using the guidance of the bow it turns the instrument to meet the bow. During the performance, player uses fingers by inserting them between bow hair and the wood part to get the desired sound.

Kemanche can be tuned in a wide range and gains it a technical advantage. Lowest could be : La – Re – La – Re until Re – Sol – Re – Sol. Some prefer to utilize the mid-tense strings. Less commonly some players prefer to tune Kamancheh like a violin. There are many versions for tuning and at the end, players taste is the final for tuning pitch. Some player prefers to play on tense strings while others more on loose strings.

You can view our catalogue for both Persian and Iranian high quality kemancha models made by famous makers.

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