The Rebec is a later term for an instrument that could have come to Europe from a number of sources.  There are similar instruments scattered across the middle east from Russia, Bulgaria, Italy, Algeria, Greece, Turkey, Crete through to Persia (Iran).

Rebec Video

It has been said to have come back with the Crusades.  It could also have come back have come in with the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsular.  (Spain)

The instrument is basically a wooden spoon with a cover of wood or skin, with a bridge and a number of strings.  Typically 3 strings but sometimes 4.  It is the father of the violin and we tune it in 5th’s, though musicians probably tuned it in many different ways as appropriate.

There was a big melting pot of instruments from the 11th Century onward including instruments like the Lute, recorder, flute, trumpet, etc.  The Rebec also traveled the Spice and Silk roads through the northern route to China through Uzbekestan and other states onto Mongolia and China.  The instruments also went south through Persia and onto India all the way through to the far east.



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