User:CatCat/Spike-fiddles and other Riddles

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There is a lot of confusion about instruments named r*bab, historically "rebab" was a generic named for chiefly bowed string instruments, from this evolved also plucked variant (see rubab), originally arabic, it traveled around the world and became the origin of many stringed instrument-families.

There are chiefly 3 large groupings:

  • Stick, small soundbox, spike-fiddle bowed family, chiefly south-east asian - from here evolved all kinds of spike fiddles, including such where the spike is vestigial, also south-eastern europe.
    • to wit the ghijak wd en mb and the Indonesian Rebab, probably the chinese huquin as well.
  • Large, short neck, boat-shaped or indented bowed (but including plucked variant) lutes, chiefly middle-eastern south asian - from here many various folk fiddles, plucked lutes, both of which also inspired evolution of european instruments.
    • herein the sarinda, sarangi, esraj, ravaj, among these the guitar and vielle families.
  • Medium, varying neck pear-shaped bowed lute, chiefly middle-eastern, european - from here many bowed and plucked families.
    • alike kamanche, byzantian lyra, presumably sitar, (thus vina) barbat, oud and the actual lute itself. possibly including such as mandolin and balalaika.

Classification aspect

(make into a table eventually)


Long neck, small soundbox, spike, possibly vestigial:

  • Indonesian rebab
  • đàn gáo
  • đàn hồ
  • đàn nhị
  • salo/saw lo
  • saw sam sai
  • saw u
  • saw duang
  • tro khmer
  • tro sau
  • tro che
  • tro sau thom
  • tro u
  • tro (research)
  • jawza
  • konya
  • sanxian
  • erxian
  • huqin (family)
    • sihu
    • yehu
    • dihu
    • zhonghu
    • banhu
    • huluhu
    • jinghu
    • erhu
      • gaohu
  • kamancheh
  • igil/ikili
  • sanshin
  • shamisen
  • kokyu
  • yaylı tambur
  • ghijak
  • ravanahatha
  • haegeum
  • (afrikan)
    • goje
    • njarka
    • n'ko
    • imzad

Bowed Lute (pear shaped)

Bowl or pear-shaped, (lyra[1]) larger lute-like soundbox, often shorter neck:

  • Byzantine lyra/lira
  • Gadulka
  • gudok
  • gusle
  • sintir
  • guimbri
  • cretan lyra
  • calabrian lira
  • dalmatian lijerica
  • kemenche
  • pontic lyra(k of the black sea)
  • politiki lyra (classical k)
  • rebec
  • rabel
  • dutar
  • çifteli
  • cobza
  • kobza/bandurka
  • komuz
  • qanbūs/gambus
  • gabusi
  • tambouras -> eg lutes, baglamas etc.
  • pandur etc
  • tambur etc
  • tanpura etc
  • indian lute, sitar
  • cittern, gitten, etc guitar
  • etc

Bowed/plucked Lute (boat shaped)

Double, two bodied or hollowed out, concave or Boat shape, large soundbox, short neck:

  • kobyz
  • rubab/rabab (kabuli rebab)
  • sarod
  • sarangi
    • nepalian sarangi (is this really a separate instrument?)
  • sarinda
  • esraj
  • dilruba
  • ghaychak
  • kyl kyyak
  • lyra viol
  • viol da gambas
  • viol da braccios
  • etc

lyre like

it's currently unclear how these belong

  • crwth
  • rotta


Rababah - ancient - arabic fiddle -
rebab - medieval - persia
seni rebab - medieval -
kabuli rebab - medieval - arab
rebec - medieval - europe

rebab - modern - indonesia

some interesting

Evolution Aspect


Cell 1 Cell 2
sarangi wd en mb

hindustani classical music, rajasthani folk sarangi,
sarangi type:
kashmir (saran)
south afghanistan (sarang)

jammu (saranga)
sarinda wd en jira, is related to and may derive from central asian shamans-fiddle qobuz (kobys?)

afghanistan, pakistan and north india (sarinda)

pakistani baluchistan (saroz)
iranian baluchistan (sorud (soruz)) derived from qobuz but more like indian types in use and construction, used for ritual
pakistani sind (surando) sindi and baluchi models have deeper upper bouts than sarinda

rajasthan (surinda) three main strings
Assam (sareja)

bengal (variant long necked svaraj)(belongs to sitar maybe?)

manipur north-east india (sananta)

east & north india (banam)
nepal (sarangi)
nepali sarangi wd en MB!(?)
type of lute, evolved from the <strikeout>rabab</strikeout> includes this and the
ghaychak wd en mb jira cell 2
in its family evolved from the kobyz wd en jira. (kobyz, ghaychak, sarangi)
dhodro banam aka Santal lute
east & north india (dhodro banam)
cell 2
Kyl kyyak wd ky en mb! Cell 2
Cell 1 Cell 2
Cell 1 Cell 2
Dramyin, Tungana, Sgrna-snyan mb

Folk rabab found in the Himalayas. The number of strings varies from 4, 5, 6, or 7. The name also varies, where local versions may be called Damyan, Dramyen, Dranyen, Dramyin (curiously sometimes spelled sgrna-snyan), or Tungana. Manuscripts from the Moghul period indicate that once this form of rabab was very common in northern India.
Cell 1 Cell 2
dotara dotara_i.gif
svaraj fretless long necked plucked lute from bangladesj, it is a bangl version of the bengali/northindian dotara, it ought to be spelled saraj (see esraj) Cell 2

a kind of cross between sitar and sarangi, it is a modern variant of dilruba[2]
Ishwari Raj

Mandar Bahar nmm wd? mb!
bass esraj
Cell 2

Dilruba is a compacter, mobiler instrument, is based on the heavier Taus[3]
Guru Gobind Singh

taus taus.gif
yazh yazh.gif
saung gauk saunggauk.gif
Cell 1 Cell 2
ektara (actually gopichant) gopichant.gif
ektar (actually tumbi) tumbi.gif
dutar dutar_2.jpg
setar setar_i.gif
bin-sitar Cell 2
kamaica Cell 2
ravanhattha ravanhatta_2.jpg
khuur (mongolian fiddles) morin_khuur.gif
Cell 1 Cell 2

Geographic Aspect

I'm going to need some kind of map-tool/widget. and images on and (compare image on ) makes it clear that it is the setar that is evolved from the tritantri veena - the sitar an unrelated (but possible distant cousin) was *named* after the Persian setar.