The Tarhu is a new form of spike fiddle, created by instrument maker and musician Peter Biffin.

The tarhu design uses a unique acoustic system, where the string’s vibrations are transferred to a featherweight wooden cone suspended within the wooden body. 

This design creates extremely sensitive instruments with an unprecedented range of tone colour variations.

The efficiency of the cone system has also given these instruments
a very large dynamic range.
 
Long-neck Tarhu

The long-neck tarhu came into existence to make available a range of musical styles that couldn’t previously be played on one instrument. The long, slender neck allows 2½ octaves to be played on a single string with the melodic fluidity encountered on traditional instruments that employ along-the-string techniques.

The use of 4 playing strings also facilitates playing across the strings (with similar string-crossing techniques used by the violin family), and extends the range of easily available notes to nearly 4½ octaves. It is the tarhu's ability to employ both these principals that give it access to such a variety of musical styles.

Since 1998, one of the design goals for the long-neck tarhu has been for it to function equally well as both a bowed and a plucked instrument. The acoustic design that gives the tarhu such a range of tone colours with the bow also makes a large variety of sounds available when it is plucked - especially noticeable in the attack of each note. A small change in plucking angle can change the attack from fast and percussive to smooth and flowing.

The long-neck Tarhu is now capable of playing a large range of styles from East and West, using either bow, several different forms of plectra, and fingerstyle.
 
 
In 2014, along with the Iranian Instrument maker Mazdak Ferydooni and with the help of Ross Daly we worked on a new version of the long Tarhu,
which is by 1/5 shorter than the original one made by Peter Biffin.
 
The shorter neck allows faster phrasing and easier balancing.