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World Music Instrument Collection: Spike

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The instruments referred to in the West as "spike fiddles" are referred to in the native language of the originating culture as some variation of "kamanche." Kamanche is spelled a variety of ways based on the regional language—a region that includes the Middle East, Persia, and the Balkans (includes Turkey, as the name implies; note particularly the cultural group of the Kurds, which crosses several country borders). Check out The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music to learn more, particularly the "Middle East" volume--look up "kamanche" and its variants in the index. Grove Music Online also has some interesting (and more summarized) information.

In the image below, a Wartburg student shows how it is possible to play this fiddle like a violin (this was for a presentation--the normal holding position is vertical, with the spike resting on the ground and the player seated).


RICE Day 2014. Image Credit: Julie Drewes.

Additional Research

Web Resources

Short video introducing basics of spike fiddle:

Tip: remember when you learned to search for your topic plus inurl:edu, inurl:gov, or inurl:org? Those strategies may help you here.

Europeana Sounds