kamān Introduction


The kamān or kamanjah is identical to the European violin. It was adopted into Arab music during the second half of the 19th century, replacing an indigenous two-string fiddle that was prevalent in Egypt also called kamanjah. Although various tunings are used, the traditional Arab tuning is in fourths and fifths (G3, D4, G4, D5).

The playing style is highly ornate, with slides, trills, wide vibrato, and double stops, often using an open string as a drone. The timbre ranges from rich and warm, similar to the sound of the Western violin, to nasal and penetrating, reminiscent of the sound of the rababah, a type of Arab folk fiddle.

Kamān - Video demonstration

Video demonstration on the kamān by Ali Jihad Racy