The gambus is a Malaysian rebab closely related to the qanbus of Yemen, the gabbus of Zanzibar, the gabbus of Oman, the gabusi of the Comoros, the qabus of Saudi Arabia, and the kabosa of Madagascar. The gambus has four doubled gut strings, a solid body carved from a single piece of wood, and a skin top. The head of the gambus is often ornately carved such as with the instrument below that has a body of a bird with glass beads for eyes. Unfortunately, the gambus is now almost extinct on the Malaysian mainland, being replaced by the oud, although still referred to as a gambus. There are still a few players of the traditional Malaysian gambus in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo.
|© R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002|