Kemenche – Turkish viols

There are two bowed viols in Turkey that share the name kemenche. Below is the Turkish Klasic Kemenche (Classic Kemenche), similar to the Greek Lyra, both have a pear-shaped body.

The other kemenche has a bottle-shaped body and comes from the Black Sea region. According to Wikipedia: The kemenche may be a development of an instrument which had an elongated water gourd for its body. The center of Kemenche playing activity seems to have been the historical strongholds of Pontic Greeks such as the district of Trabzon and the contiguous areas of the districts to the west and east of it as well as to the south, Giresun, Rize, northern Sivas and Gümüşhane, whose main town had been called Arghyrόpolis. Also, Görele is a very important centre of kemençe. Every year, kemençe festivals held in Görele. West past Tirebolu towards Giresun (Ancient name: Kerasounta), the number of kemençe players begins to decrease and the lute as well as the violin (keman) and tambourine (tef) begin playing a more important role. Further west into the districts of the Ordu and before reaching the town of Samsun the kemençe has virtually disappeared. East of Trabzon, after Rize, the kemence faces competition from the bagpipes (Karadeniz tulum). A dance commonly associated with the kemenche and Pontus region is Horon. In Greece, pontic lyra has been played in areas populated by Pontian refugees since the beginning of the 20th century. It is also played by Greek communities around the Black Sea, such as those in Mariupol. The instrument is also popular among the Hemshin peoples, who originate from the eastern Pontus. Due to the size and spread of the Pontic Greek, Hemshin and Turkish diasporas, the instrument is now widely played in urban centers throughout the world. Classical music ensembles outside Greece and Turkey increasingly include a Kemençe.

This YouTube also features two other Pontian instruments – the Tulum, a bagpipe and the Panduri, a lute.
This is a stringed bowed musical instrument coming from the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Greece, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, and regions of the Black Sea. I made mine out of spruce mostly. This is not a traditional build, it’s just the way I made it.

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