Rabeca

The ‘rabeca’, or ‘rabeca chuleira’, is a traditional bow-stringed instrument, much like the fiddle, and regarded as a rustic or primitive version of the violin. Similar to other local traditional instruments, such as the ‘viola amarantina’, the ‘violão’, the drums or the triangles, it is closely associated with local popular festivities, namely the ‘chuladas’ – the ‘chula’ was an influential music genre in the Douro and Minho regions during the 19th century, where such instruments were regularly used. Unlike the ‘viola amarantina’, the ‘rabeca’ didn’t enjoy a similar movement of interest and rehabilitation. In fact, it practically disappeared in this last decade, with but few players of this musical instrument still remaining active. It is thus imperative the revitalization of this instrument and of its popular repertoire.