Kamancheh (also kamānche or kamāncha) (Persian: کمانچه), is an Iranian bowed string instrument, used also in Armenian,Azerbaijani, Turkish, and Kurdish Music and related to the rebab, the historical ancestor of the kamancheh and also to the bowedByzantine lyra, ancestor of the European violin family. The strings are played with a variable-tension bow: the word "kamancheh" means "little bow" in Persian (kæman, bow, and -cheh, diminutive). It is widely used in the classical music of Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kurdistan Regions with slight variations in the structure of the instrument.
Traditionally kamanchehs had three silk strings, but modern ones have four metal ones. Kamanchehs may have highly ornate inlays and fancy carved ivory tuning pegs. The body has a long upper neck and a lower bowl-shaped resonating chamber made from agourd or wood, usually covered with a membrane, made from the skin of a lamb, goat or sometimes fish, on which the bridge is set. From the bottom protrudes a spike to support the kamancheh while it is being played, hence in English the instrument is sometimes called the spiked fiddle. It is played sitting down held like a cello though it is about the length of a viola. The end-pin can rest on the knee or thigh while seated in a chair.