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What if Physical Problems Arise & Prevent You Playing The Violin?
Consider an alternative instrument!
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 

March 24, 2023 - 2:15 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
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I was listening to some Kamancheh music of Azerbaijan and thought it was pretty cool!  It's a bowed string instrument, similar to a Rebab, but with 4 strings strung the same as violin tuning!   ...traditional Persian playing will also use alternative/cross tuning.


It's played upright, on knee or stand, and the bow arm doesn't move to the different bowing levels of each string, instead - the instrument is rotated with the left hand, it pivots on a spike!  NO FINGER OR HAND STRETCHING!

PERFECT for anyone that has issues with neck pain, shoulder pain, or limited use of the right arm!  I've seen people play the fiddle different ways, including like a cello on the knee - so some people may find this more comfortable. 

The bow hair tension is controlled by the bowing hand/fingers, but I believe it just might be a carried-over technique that may not be necessary (with a different kind of bow).

Definitely a better option than playing in pain, or not playing at all! 



This is a very cool sound test of different makes of Kamancheh!  Broad spectrum of tone (just like violins/violas). 



OR... just play with your fiddle upright on your knee. 😊


Sacramento, California

March 24, 2023 - 3:17 am
Member Since: November 5, 2017
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I believe some North African folk music traditions involve the violin being played exactly this way, which I'm guessing is because the violin replaced the rebab relatively recently there.

Gordon Shumway
London, England

March 24, 2023 - 4:35 am
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The way we twist our left wrists is totally counter-intuitive. There's probably a historical reason for it, although I don't recall reading one.



March 24, 2023 - 9:59 am
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someone along the line shared a video of earliest violins played like that.  


March 25, 2023 - 1:35 am
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Somewhere, a year or so ago, I saw a string orchestra (I thought Middle East) with quite a few women playing the violin upright - can't find it now. 

There's a video in the 1st post of the Middle Eastern Fiddle - Maqams & Microtones! Thread, the guy shows & talks about playing the violin upright. 

Different Turkic enthic groups in Central Asia and the Volga Region of Eastern Europe play several different bowed instruments in an upright position. 

Kazakhstan has a modernized 4-string Kobyz - looks like a violin, except the bottom half is skinny & held between the knees!  An older version, with less strings & partial open face, is still common.

I started the video in the middle, but all of it is enjoyable. 

There are quite a few Cretan Lyra - popular in the Greek Islands, some have more of a viol shape - all played upright. 


Javlonbek Gulombekov (Uzbekistan) plays music from GAME OF THRONES! 



Of course, after I dug all these out of my bookmarks, I see Chris Haigh has a great video that would've saved me a lot of work!  🤣

Fiddles of The World! 

Some GREAT history about the bow, too! 

I'm too tired to find the links to the Erhu, Morin Khur & Apache Fiddle threads, right now. (lol) 


...just think if anyone starts having physical problems that prevents playing the Violin our 'Western' way - instead of giving up, consider there are alternatives to holding & playing a bowed string instrument! 

- Emily

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