One of the first bowed str. instr., which probably originated in Moslem countries (as rebab or rabab) and was introduced to Europe in 8th cent. ad. It had rounded back carved out of the solid wood, with flat soundboard added. After 15th cent., no. of str. varied from 1 to 5. In Renaissance there were several sizes and pitches of rebec, e.g. sop., ten., and bass. The ten. and bass were probably played gamba‐wise, held between knees. Smaller versions were known as ribecchino (It.) or rubechette (Fr.).