Show Summary Details

Page of
PRINTED FROM Oxford Music Online. © Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single article in Oxford Music Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

Rāvaṇahasta [rāvaṇa, rāvaṇasta, rāvaṇahastaka, rāvaṇahatthhaya, rāvaṇhatthā, rāvaṇhattho]locked

  • Joep Bor

Extract

Musical bow and/or spike fiddle, believed to be India’s oldest bowed instrument. The rāvaṇahasta (‘Ravana’s hand’) is frequently mentioned in medieval texts. Called ‘ravanastron’ in European travel and music literature, it played a crucial role in speculations about the origin of the fiddle bow.

According to an ancient legend, Ravana—the mythological king of Lanka—tore out one or more sinews from his arm or hand which he used as strings for the chordophone (...

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Please subscribe to access the full content.