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[ri-bahb] /rɪˈbɑb/
a Near Eastern fiddle having one to three strings and played with a bow.
1730-40; < Arabic rabāb; see rebec Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for rebab


stringed instrument of the fiddle family prominent in Arab and Persian art music. It is a spike fiddle; i.e., its small, round or cylindrical body appears skewered by the neck, which forms a "foot" that the instrument rests on when played. Measuring about 30 inches (76 cm) from neck to foot, it has a membrane belly and, commonly, two to four strings tuned in fourths or fifths. The musician, who plays while seated, rests the foot of the instrument on his knee. The kamanja is played by soloists as well as in ensembles.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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