Kamanche is a string or stringed instrument. In these musical instruments a stretched vibrating string produces the initial sound. They are called Chordophones as well. "Kamânche" consists of "Kamân" and "che". "Kamân" is a Persian word that means bow in English and "Che" is the Persian suffix to create a diminutive form, therefore the word "Kamânche" means "small bow". Kamanche is a bowed string instrument, so it means that a bow is used to stroke the strings, in order to create sound. Kamanche is a fretless instrument and may be called the Persian spike fiddle, so the instrument has a spike at the bottom to rest on the ground or lap.
Here I am going to introduce only some Kamanche players, who were or are unique and brilliant Kamanche players. It includes some important lines about their musical life, a picture and an audio sample. I hope that these informations are going to be helpful, for the Kamanche lovers, who want to develop their skillfulness in playing the Kamanche.
Hosseyn Xan Esma'il Zade
Hosseyn Esmai'l Zade (?-1941) is the son of Esmai'l Xan, the Kamanche player of Qajar era. He was a Kamanche virtuoso and taught the instrument for many years. He cooperated as a soloist in concerts with Darvish Xan (the Persian Tar player) and Aref Qazvini (poet and song composer). It is said that his skillfulness in playing the Kamanche in his era has the same status as Mirza Hosseyn-Qoli's in playing the Persian Tar or we can say that he is the most important figure in Kamanche in the last decades of Qajar era. He composed also beautiful pieces in "Reng" and "Pish Daramd" forms. Thanks to Pooyan Nassehpoor for this rare recording.
Baqer Xan Rameshgar
Baqer Xan Rameshgar (1873-1959) was a Kamanche player of Qajar era. Intresting is that he had a Kamanche with six pegs. He learned the Kamanche from Musa Xan Kashi and the Radif (the principal repertoire of Persian classical music) from Mirza Hosseyn-Qoli. He traveled with some other musicians to Paris, London and Tbilisi for recording music. In the picture above the Tonbak (Persian goblet drum) player is Isa Xan Aqa-Bashi.