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date: 16 October 2019

Qanbūs [qabūs]locked

  • Christian Poché



Short-necked lute of Yemen, widely disseminated with slightly varying terminology: gabbūs (Zanzibar), gabbus (Oman), gabusi or gambusi (the Comoros), Gambus (parts of Indonesia and Malaysia), qabūs (Saudi Arabia) and kabôsy (Madagascar). One of the earliest references to it is in Lane (1863–93): ‘a sort of tunbur made by the people of al-Yaman now called qabus or the lute’. The term derives from the root ‘q-n’, often found in the musical vocabulary of Semitic languages. A comparison between the existing ‘ūd and the qanbūs points to reciprocal influences and continuous interaction: the shape of the latter is certainly close to that of the early Islamic ‘ūd. The myths surrounding their invention are largely the same, and the influence of the ‘ūd on the qanbūs is observed in the borrowing of the former term to describe the qanbūs in Sana‘a, Yemen (the ‘ūd of Sana‘a) and in the use of double courses; the ...

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Revue d'histoire et de critique musicales