New High-Tech Stringed Instruments

I’ve shared this with a few friends some time ago on instant-messenger/facebook.

New Style – but Ancient Looking – Stringed Instruments by Peter Biffin of Australia.

I am blown away.   The “Tarhu” sounds like a Cello/Violin/Esraj all in one. Maybe I’m just a little over-excited about this at the moment, but I currently think * * NOTHING * *  I have heard can compare to how good these instruments sound. The use of an internal cone that is safe from string tension to produce sound is brilliant.

I am going to get myself an Esraj from him in the (hopefully near) future.  Make sure to look through EVERY page on his site, and check out the sound samples – especially the “Tarhui” in Raag Desh.

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3 thoughts on “New High-Tech Stringed Instruments”

  1. Peter Biffin developed this instrument according to a musician called Ross Daly based in Crete (greece). Check his playing on the tarhu. I have taken some seminars with him. He plays a lot of Turkish music with it. But he did spend some years in India when he was younger and I supose it very much influenced the use of sypathetic strings on his instruments. He actually plays a Tarhu with sympathtic strings that is not on Peter site. The tarhu has a lenght (bridge to bridge) that is 24 cm. Ross had it made the size of the Cretan (an instrument he spent 15 years training on with a local master).
    Check Ross Daly’s myspace. I have some recordings also if your really interested. The instrument are a little bit on the expensive side. But peter has been working on using cmetals for the body of the instruments thus making it cheaper. A friend just got one but I didn’t get a chance to hear it yet.
    DOn’t hesitate to contact me if you need additional infos or tracks. All the best
    Jean Michel (

  2. Hello Manav,
    Regarding Peter Biffins Tarhu family of instruments. No you are not overexcited. These are extraordinary instruments. Some very famous players of Persian and Azeri music have his version of traditional spike fiddles, with his resonator system in them. Habil Aliev has one Kayhan Kalhor has two. He also built a Tharhu cello hybrid for rali margalit the sound files there and Peters comments in an email to me, show that this 3/4 size instrument blows most full size cellos out of the water. Such power and character. A tarhu esraj would be a knockout and take the instrument into another sphere of richness.
    john allan from Australia

  3. Hi John, I checked out the link you sent – and when the sound clip loaded automatically in the Cell-hu page .. it was just .. WOW . I have no words.. What sound!

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