Name: Karadeniz Kemençesi.
Type: Chordophones > Lyres > Lyra > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.71
Luthier: Bagdat Saz-Evi, Izmir Turkey.
Country: Turkey & Georgia, Armenia.
Region: Asia, Caucasus.
Description: The Kemençe of the Black Sea [Turkish: Karadeniz kemençesi, Greek Pontic kemenche] or Pontiaki lyra [Ποντιακή λύρα], Laz Çilili [ჭილილი] or Armenian Qamani [Քամանի] is a bottle-shaped bowed lute found in the Black Sea region of Turkey [Pontus] and neighbouring adjacent countries of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as in Greece. It is also known as the “kementche of Laz”. The name kemençe comes from Iranian Music Instrument Kamenche. It is similar in appearance to the “Kit Violin” or “Pocket Violin”.
Playing Techniques: The strings are depressed onto the neck of the instrument by the player’s finger tips in the way violin strings are pressed, such as the large Cappadocian kemane. It is played in the downright position, either by resting it on the knee when sitting, or held in front of the player when standing. It is always played “braccio”, that is, with the tuning head uppermost.
The musicians usually play two or all three strings at the same time, utilizing the open strings as a drone. Sometimes they play the melody on two strings, giving a harmony in parallel fourths. They tend to play with many trills and embellishments and with unusual harmonies.
Construction: The kemenche bow is called the yay [in Turkish: Yay] and the doksar [in Greek: δοξάρι: doksar] the Greek term for bow. The kemençe is similar to a kit violin, as it allows for the violinist to dance while playing.
Citations: Bibliography: Websites: Islam Ansiklopedisi [Islam Encyclopedia – in Turkish] ;