Qeychak or qichak which is played in many Persian classical ensembles today has relatively a young history, almost fifty years. Up to fifty years ago, this instrument was played only in the Baluchistan province, southeastern Iran. For the first time, Ebrahim Qanbari made a qichak after the one from Baluchistan. The qichak is a bowed stringed instrument. Its folk version is called soroud in Baluchistan and usually has twelve strings. Six of these strings are drone strings and the rest are melody strings. The oldest sample instrument still remaining is comprised of a dual box and the surface of the lower one is covered by a hide. The generated tune is first transferred from the lower box to the upper one, from where it is broadcast through two wide openings. This part of the instrument is very interesting from the scientific point of view, since a second box has been added on its surface in order to amplify the tune. This makes the instrument much richer in generating a great variety of tunes. It is played by a bow of particular shape, while the musician simultaneously creates the desired tune by plucking the strings by his/her left hand. The instrument's box is made of berry wood. The qichak is originally from Baluchistan and is one of the main instruments of this region. It is played either as a solo instrument or, it is accompanied by the tanburak and doholak.
But, the urban version of the qichak does not have the drone strings and like the kamānche and violin has four strings. Its tuning is also like the kamānche. In fact, the urban version of the qichak is a kind of kamānche with a different sound box.
Today, the bass qichak and alto qichak which are made after their violin counterparts play more effective roles in Persian ensembles and orchestra than the qichak itself. The sound range of the bass qichak and alto qichak are similar to the cello and alto violin and are played like them as well.
Figure 1: The soroud and tanburak players
Figure 2: The front perspective of the qichak
Figure 3: The side perspective of the qichak
Figure 4: Bass qichak