Rebecca (Brazilian folk violin)

As the early violin spread from Africa around the world, the Portuguese brought the three string Rebec to Brazil. There it was assimilated into Brazilian culture and folk music, with this instrument being the result. It has a neck that is similar to a violin, but the back and sides are fashioned out of a large gourd.


It can be tuned many ways, depending on the music being played. I usually tune it D,A,E... an octave below standard violin tuning.

The bow has a unique system for tightening the hair. A thin string is tied to the end of the horse hair, and then run through the bow stick, around the outside and then wound around a peg... the same way a regular violin would tighten at the scroll.

The original friction pegs were difficult to keep in tune, so I modified the instrument with home made geared tuners. I also attached a sort of shoulder rest which makes it possible to hold the instrument like a violin instead of like a cello.

I have used this Instrument on many film scores including Rango, Miami Vice, and Public Enemies.