The use of a bow on stringed instruments
probably originated in central Asia during the ninth century, spreading
through Islamic and Byzantine territories and later reaching western Europe
in the tenth to twelth centuries.
Bowing may have developed in an attempt to
create an instrument which could imitate the voice. Bowing gave stringed
instruments the sustaining power necessary to play a continuous melodic
line. Nevertheless, the status of these bowed instruments and their players
The rebec was definitely an instrument of the
lower classes, not the court.
Organetto Pipe and
Rebec Recorder Sacbut Schalmei Serpent Shawm Shofar Viol