rebec(redirected from rebecks)
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rebec(rē`bĕk), one of the earliest forms of the violin. It was pear-shaped, had from three to five strings, and possessed a strident tone. Its use, which began in the 13th cent., was to play melodies of popular songs and dance music, accompanied by percussion. The rebec, prevalent in European medieval and early Renaissance music, developed from the Arab instrument, the rehāb.
(also rebek), an ancient stringed and bowed musical instrument. A rebec has a wooden, rimless, and pear-shaped body, whose upper part tapers directly into the neck. The soundboard has two soundholes, and the three strings are tuned in fifths. The rebec first appeared in Western Europe about the 12th century and was used until the third quarter of the 18th century. It influenced the shape of instruments belonging to the violin family.