The Kamancheh is an Oriental musical instrument with a long history. In pre-Islamic Persia there was a musical instrument from the same family called ghazhak/ghezhak or ghazh/ghezh , also a similar instrument is currently quite common in Sistan and Baluchestan. Ghazhak in Sistan has many, in some cases even up to 17 strings. It also enjoys a long history in Afghanistan. Likewise, Kamancheh in Lorestan has a long history. In fact, most people interested in music in Lorestanare used to have Kamancheh in home. The common Kamancheh in this region has a sound box in the shape of a loudspeaker. Its front face is covered by skin, while its back side is open, resulting in a very loud and strong sound quality. Usually the Motrebs or minstrel musicians don’t use any amplifying devices. It is also played in outdoor quarters. Farabi in his Ketab al-Music al-Kabir refers to an instrument like ghazhak with two strings which is not played by bow. This instrument is called robab , which is also referred to by poets after Farabi. Robab is an instrument almost similar to tanbur , but it is short-necked with a big belly. Its soundboard used to be covered by skin, mostly the skin of deer, while in contemporary robabs it is made of wood.
Kamancheh in Lorestan has had three strings, the third of which was doubly twisted. Its strings were also in some cases made of electrical cables. Mas’ud Sad Salman in his poems mentions the kamancheh and Farroki refers to ghazh/ghazhak as well as nozhat. Nozhat is an instrument similar to qanun with a rectangular box, the invention of which is
attributed to Safi al-Din Omavi. The old robab resembled the kamancheh. This instrument is
highly prevalent in Oriental cultures under various names, photos of which are included in this article. It is especially in use in China, Japan, India, Malaysia, Yugoslavia, Angola, Indonesia, Burma, Kenya, Nepal and Uganda as well as in many Arabic and Turkish ensembles.