Can anyone tell me what instrument this is?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Power_13, May 11, 2004.

  1. Power_13

    Power_13 insult ninja

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    I bought this thing a while ago for £8 from a trading post. It looked well made, and I thought it might have some value. Only problem is, I don't have a clue what it is. I thought someone here might be able to are on their way, but for the time being I'll try to describe it.

    Ok...the entire thing is made of wood. It's about 30cm shorter than a guitar. There's a "neck" and "body", although the string is so far from the neck that I think it's played with some kind of slide...I'd say three quarters of an inch away from the neck. Notice I said "string", not "strings". It only has one string, made of nylon I believe. The string is tied to the end of the body on a small peg of wood - this peg hasn't been glued in, it's actually been carved into shape. from the body wood. There is a saddle on the body that the string goes through instead of over, and further on up the neck there's a hole for a tuner - which is also made of wood, and is tuned using a similar method to a sitar. The string is tightened to pitch, then the peg is pushed into the hole a little until the width of the peg secures it against the neck wood.

    The body is not solid wood. Instead, the top where the string goes over is covered in some sort of material similar to a banjo's body top. It feels like some sort of tough cloth.

    Finally, the instrument as a whole is beautifully carved. The far end of the neck is shaped like a horse's head, and the rest of the body has been decorated with carvings such as flowers and leaves - a paisley finish ;)

    I'd appreciate any help with this. Even if it isn't worth anything, it's still a beautiful looking thing. It'd be cool just to know what the thing is called.

    Thanks for any help :)
  2. Power_13

    Power_13 insult ninja

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    Yeah, that's what I thought...there's no way this thing could have been mass produced.

    I've been looking around, and I found an instrument that seems to be close to the description of this one. It's an Ektar...but although it's the closest description yet, there are a few differences. The Ektar seems to have stell strings, like a sitar, while this has a nylon string (that could have been someone putting on the wrong type of string by accident, I guess). And the Ektar is two seperate pieces joined together for the neck and body. This is all one piece, apart from the bridge saddle and tuning peg.

    I managed to take a picture, but it's not very good quality. I'll see if I can take a better one when I get home from work tonight. In the mean while, may as well test the new forum functions ;)

    (Edit text): I posted about this on another forum, and someone just reminded me about a documentary my dad saw that had someone playing an instrument very much like this. They were playing it with a bow, and the documentary was about African music, not it looks like I was mistaken about the origin
  3. dhARmaMiLlO

    dhARmaMiLlO Member

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    I saw an instrument like this in Egypt.
    I've seen Mongolians play it too.
    I have an Iranian friend who can play it.

    canny remember the name though..... :p
    something like 'rebab' rabab'??

    I'm sure its from silk road through to persia to arabic of origin.
    There's a lot of arabic influence in Africa.


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