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Using the Golden Section to Design a Kamanché

Using the Golden Section to Design a Kamanché

by Ahanali Jahandideh, Mitra Jahandideh, Hadi Abbaszadeh, and Samad Jahandideh

Originally published in American Lutherie #98, 2009

The kamanché is a Persian bowed string instrument related to the violin. (See “Building the Kamanché” by Nasser Shirazi, AL#4, p. 27 and BRBAL1, p. 126, and GAL Instrument Plan #9. The kamanché has a long neck and a spheroid sound chamber made from gourd or wooden staves, which is usually covered on the playing side with skin from a lamb, goat, or fish. It is widely played in classical music of Iran, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, with slight variations in structure.

The Golden Section (also known as the Golden Mean, Ratio, or Proportion) is a ratio defined by the number phi (Φ=1.618033988...). It has been used in designing violins and other musical instruments, but for the first time we used it to design an Iranian instrument.

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