The resonator of this banjira Rabab is formed by a rectangular wooden frame fitted on both sides with goat skin. The single steel string (0.012", 0.30 mm) runs from a wooden peg mounted on the long neck, over a plastic floating bridge, to the base of the resonator. You can place the bridge anywhere along the length of the soundboard. By changing the tension on the string and the placement of the bridge, the Rabab has a range of nearly one and a half octaves. We tuned one from G3 all the way to B4. Remember you are tuning the string to one pitch, and then you note the string with your fingernails as you play.
A rabab player rests the instrument vertically on his or her knee and draws the bow across the string in a similar fashion to a cello player. The body is approximately 11" wide x 20" tall; overall length is approximately 34.5". The term Rabab is found in ninth and tenth century texts, and is the oldest known Arabic word for a bowed instrument.
Capable of a range of dynamic accents; this instrument is the essential melody instrument of the nomadic Bedouins. It is customarily played by the sha'ir, or poet-singer, to accompany heroic and love songs. Never handle the hair of the bow with your hands; oils from your skin will leave permanent slick spots on the hair. To grab the strings, it will need to be coated with rosin. Rosin is sold separately