a Renaissance fiddle with a pear-shaped body tapering into a neck that ends in a sickle-shaped or scroll-shaped pegbox.
Also, rebeck.

1745–55; < Middle French; replacing Middle English ribibe < Old French rebebeArabic rabāb rebab Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rebec or rebeck (ˈriːbɛk)
a medieval stringed instrument resembling the violin but having a lute-shaped body
[C16: from Old French rebebe, from Arabic rebāb; perhaps also influenced by Old French bec beak]
rebeck or rebeck
[C16: from Old French rebebe, from Arabic rebāb; perhaps also influenced by Old French bec beak]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"medieval stringed musical instrument," 1509, from Fr. rebec, an unexplained alteration of O.Fr. ribabe (perhaps somehow infl. by bec "beak"), ultimately from Arabic rebab (cf. O.Prov. rebec, It. ribeca). It has three strings and is played with a bow.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


bowed, stringed musical instrument of European medieval and early Renaissance music. It was originally called a rubebe, developed about the 11th century from the similar Arab rabab, and was carried to Spain with Muslim culture. Like the rabab, the rebec had a shallow, pear-shaped body, but on the rebec the rabab's skin belly was replaced by wood and a fingerboard was added. The rebec was held against the chest or chin or, occasionally, with the bottom of the instrument resting on the seated player's left thigh. The three strings were tuned in fifths (e.g., g-d'-a').

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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