Kemençe (Politiki Lyra)
The kemençe (in Greek, Politiki lyra, i.e. "lyra of Istanbul") has undergone a remarkable evolution in roughly a hundred years. Once considered a low-class instrument of the Greek gazino nightclubs of Istanbul — suitable for bellydancers and alcohol — it came to be seen as a quintessential Ottoman classical instrument, and now is finding even a new voice in progressive composers. Its unique midrangy sonority imparts a sound quality reminiscent of 78 rpm grammophones, while its playing technique lends itself to extremely subtle expression.