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date: 14 November 2019


  • Margaret J. Kartomi
  • , revised by Andrew C. McGraw


Spike fiddle of Flores, Indonesia. The square wooden spike, about 75 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, passes through a hemispherical calabash resonator about 18 cm in diameter. The opening of the calabash is covered with a ‘skin’ of palm leaf, bamboo, or cardboard, sometimes punctured with holes, that is sewn onto the gourd using palm fibre. A small wooden bridge (reneka) rests on this skin. The single palm fibre string is attached at one end to a narrow tuning peg which passes diagonally through the top of the spike from front to back, and at the other end to the lower projection of the spike. One or two ‘frets’ of palm fibre can be tied between the string and neck. A curved bamboo lath bow (wu) about 35 cm long is strung with coconut or bamboo fibre, which is oiled with paraffin to increase friction. In the Sikka area the instrument is called ...

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