The Kamancheh is the traditional classical bowed lute of Persian classical music and dates back to antiquity. It has a small, hollowed hardwood body with a thin stretched fish-skin membrane. Its neck is cylindrical, and it has four strings. Often known as the "spiked fiddle", because of the spike protruding from its lower end, it is played vertically in the manner of the European viol.
The bowstrings are pulled by the player which accommodates subtle tone variations. It is suspected that the fourth string was added in the early twentieth century as the result of the introduction of western violin to Iran.