In the case of instrument from 'over there', since sooooo many relaated
instruments have very similar names for VERY similar (buit different)
instruments, the usual way for ethnomusicologists and fanciers of the
various instruments involved is to apply a designater of culture - for
akdeniz kemenche (Black Sea fiddle)
klasik kemance (Ottoman 'classic' fiddle - similar in shape, but NOT sound
of the Cretan lira)
kemanche farsi (the Persian type purchased by Donato's friend)
Keman (the modern European violin)
to see a further example of this, try doing a Google search for the
instruments called rabab/rebab/rebaba/rubaab/robab and you'll see a dizzying
variety of instruments ranging from bowed strings (ranging from Egypt to
Malaysia) to long-necked lutes from Central Asia (the Uzbek rabab and
Kashgar rawap) to short-necked lutes with a huge number of sympathetic
strings (the Afghan rubaab).
Terminology is VERY important in the world of ethnic instruments... don't
even ask about the headaches caused by tanbur/tambur/tanpura...
Replacing the head on on instrument like the kemanche is fussier than
replacing a drumhead, although the basic principle is the same - the
constant string pressure is a different kind of stress than that a drumhead
receives, and the skins are quite a bit thinner - to get the right sound.
I am not as concerned about the neck/body join, as I am about the following
The skin resonator (for the reason that it should be easy to protect)
The tuning pegs (pegs are ALWAYS a concern)
The corpus (the bodies on these tend to be stave-built, and very thin, so
protecting it from sharp, shocky impact is critical).
I have handled a few of the commercially-built kemanche cases of the type
found on the forefrontappraisers.com site - most of them were pretty
well-made light plywood with a nice vinyl cover, although a few were heavy
cardboard. It would be worthwhile to find out, and the $75 price tag is a
bargain for a hardcase for a weirdly-shaped ethnic instrument.
If your friend needs some resources, I can perhaps point here in the
direction of a few, although I have only recently started studying Persian
music seriously fairly recently - I do have a lot of contacts (my real and
primary love is Turkish music - folk,and Ottoman classical) that may be of
----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Carpenter" <donat0@...>
Sent: Monday, February 08, 2010 7:52 AM
Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Re: persian Kemenche case
> Ok, I can only work with the info given... but am cool with that.
> Its actually a Kamancheh Kamancha, not a kemenche, when I searched THAT
> term, I came up with a lot.
> I don't see the skin face being the risky part, It could be easily
> replaced. Any Mid east drummer could do it and you can get the part here.
> Here is a hard case for sale....
> its the neck thats the fragile part, it looks like it would be impossible
> to replace if broken and would easily be placed in a "Bridge" position
> then have something put on top of it.
> I thought Conga hard case when I saw the video, the bulbous sounding
> chamber doesn't look like any other stringed instrument I can think of.
> With modification, this case would work great.... but for the price, might
> as well have a cool customized one made by a woodworker....
> Just trying to help!
>> Chris - that's not a persian kemenche - that's a Black Sea kemenche (also
>> called a Pontian lyra).
>> Here is a short video of a Persian (also Azeri) kemenche
>> Since the Persian kemenche has a skin face, a hard case is HIGHLY