Strings Friends and Relatives


In Thailand, there is a fiddle called a so duang that has two strings. Its resonating chamber is made from half a coconut shell.

The Poles, who are fond of violins, developed their own kinds of fiddles.

The mazanki and the zlobcoki both look like little skinny violins with three or four strings.




The suka looks like a violin with a short neck, and it is held with the legs, like a cello.



Guatemalan string ensembles, which are called zarabandas, usually include some violins called rabels. Rabels can be made from wood, with deerskin sides, or they can be made out of half a calabash, which is a large gourd.


The Indonesian rebab, or spike fiddle, is smallish like a violin or viola. But it is held vertically and bowed horizontally, like a tiny cello. It has just two strings, and long, spiky pegs that give it a distinctive look.

Gypsies in Albania play their own type of one-string fiddle. It is called a lahute.

The people of Uganda play a single-string tube fiddle they call an endingiri.

Cello and Bass
In the republic of Georgia, the chianuri is played in a similar manner to the cello. It is a two-string, bowed lute, held with the player's knees.

In Poland, there is a local type of low-voiced string instrument called a basetla or basy. Often it is used to play a drone, but sometimes the player stops the strings with his fingers to make different notes.

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1999 New York Philharmonic