The following text is taken indigenous the book "Classical music Instruments" by Suneera Kasliwal, Delhi 2001.

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At existing the sitar is the most popular instrument in Hindustani music. The structure and also tonal high quality of the modern-day sitar is a an outcome of number of years of difficult work and also devotion placed in through artists and also craftsmen. Craftsmen that Calcutta require special point out for their donation to the make of a structurally perfect instrument. The an easy technical and also physical ethics of the sitar are as with those of the veena, yet the sitar is easier to handle and is much more portable. Because that centuries, the sitar has actually undergone a sea of transformation, and has improved beyond recognition. The twentieth century deserve to be called the golden era the the sitar. Stalwarts prefer Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan, Nikhil Banerjee, Uma Shankar Misra, Abdul Haleem Jaffar Khan, Rais Khan and many rather have carved a unique niche because that the tool in the civilization of music. Much more than three hypotheses space prevalent among the musicologists concerning the origin of the sitar. Since none that these has been unanimously accepted, there has actually been a the majority of confusion regarding its origin. Actually the subject requirements thorough research, and before reaching any kind of conclusion, all the points need to be taken right into consideration. The problem started when some world started offering credit that the sitar"s "invention" come the thirteenth century poet, Ameer Khusarau, that Allauddin Khilji"s court. B.C. Deva claims in one of his essays ~ above organology, "The difficulty is "acute" particularly in the situation of the sitar. No various other lute has actually raised so much conversation with so tiny foundation. Maybe the legend the the instrument was "invented" through Ameer Khusarau, was began by Captain Willard and Karam Imam. However recent researches have an ext than absolutely established that Ameer Khusarau was no its "inventor". One wonders whether he was even conscious of the existence?" it is a truth that Ameer Khusarau has not pointed out the name of sitar as a musical instrument in any kind of of his works. Scholars and also researchers unanimously assistance this point, yet still this "story" is therefore deep-rooted among the usual folk that they would certainly not believe otherwise. Part scholars who perform not agree v the Khusarau hypothesis have actually tried to link it through the tritantriveena, i beg your pardon was referred to as jantra by the common people, and also was popular amongst the musician of fourteenth and also fifteenth centuries. Tritantri means an tool which has actually three strings (a selection of veena with 3 strings as defined by Sharangadeva). Sehtar, in Persian also means an instrument with three strings (Seh = three and tar = strings). Prof. Lal mani Misra proposes that as soon as the Muslims came to India, they experienced the tritantri veena and also found it hard to pronounce tri. Therefore they offered it a Persian name, sehtar, i beg your pardon gradually became sitar.Mulism intrusions in India starting from the early eighth century come fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, indigenous the north- western front, exposed ind to the music, literature and social personalizeds of Turkish, Persian and central Asian cultures. Roughly this time the instrument dubbed tambur or tanbur appeared on the Indian music scenario. Ameer Khusarau defined the tambur as having four strings, 2 of silk and two the metal. InAin-i-Akbari, four tambur players room included among the thirty-six noted musicians of the court that Akbar. A selection of tanbur with three strings rather of four is termed together seh-tar.


Sitar in ours catalogue

According to Allyn Miner the beforehand tanbur or sehtar, as shown in the Mughal paintings, has unique features i beg your pardon are quite uniformly painted native the twelfth come the sixteenth or even seventeenth century It to be a little instrument v a pear-shaped resonator and a comparatively long, thin fingerboard v gut frets. The instrument to be made that wood. It had a slim violin-type that bridge and it was played by a plectrum worn ~ above the appropriate hand. The tool sehtar, widespread in Iran it spins date, has more or much less the very same features. The Kashmir! setar"s features likewise resemble this details, other than that it has actually seven strings rather of 3 as argued by that is Persian name seh- tar or se-tar, and also a level wooden bridge.The instrument and a number of varieties to be developed. As Allyn Miner put it, "Paintings and drawings display that an ext than one variation of the instrument already existed at the end of the eighteenth century. The shape of the bridge, the material of frets, the location of the tuning pegs, the width of the neck, the position and also tuning the the strings and the ideal hand position aid us in determining sitar types and in tracing the progression of change."From the over description it is quite clear that till the moment of Mohammed Karam Imam, the sitar was rather a occurred instrument, particularly in the hand of Jaipur Seniyas. However the elaborate alapchari the dhrupad anga, which was taken into consideration the summary of been-baj, might not have been feasible on the climate existing sitar, and also therefore, Jaipur Seniyas meanwhile introduced a brand-new instrument referred to as "surbeen", which was a mixture of rudra veena and also sitar. One more instrument called been-sitar is stated to have three gourds and tarab strings. Whereas in eastern India, most most likely in Lucknow in the average time, an additional instrument v mixed features of the been and also sitar emerged. This was called the surbahar.All these efforts indicate the though the sitar to be developed and modified a good deal indigenous its original form, it was still no perfectly suited to the execution that the kind of music common in those days. Surbeen and also been-sitar might not acquire much popularity however the surbahar did acquire popularised and musicians used to perform a full-fledged alapchari of been upon this instrument prior to playing gat toda upon the sitar. This practice continued for more than a century. Meanwhile, instrumentalists continued to change the existing sitar. In the latter fifty percent of the nineteenth century, tarab strings to be put right into the sitar. V the Jaipur Seniyas, a sitar with two added gourds (tumbas) was common. This to be done, perhaps, to boost the volume and add depth to the tonality the the instrument. In the transforming process of the sitar, as time walk by, one extra gourd to be dropped and also one, i beg your pardon was fixed at the top portion, was retained. The changing process ongoing until each and every technique of the been and surbahar can be well executed upon the instrument.Hundreds the artists and craftsmen have contributed to the process of the advance of the sitar. Amongst them, Jaipur Seniyas, beginning from Maseet Khan, Rahim Sen, Amrit Sen and Dulhe Khan, were the trendsetters. Very talented sitar football player Sahabdad Khan and also his progeny Imdad Khan and also Inayat Khan, Ghulam Raza Khan, Ali Raza Khan, Pannalal Bajpeyi that Purab gharana, etc., are famous for their enormous contribution to the physical and technical improvement of sitar. Sitar makers likewise contributed a good deal to its development. Amongst them Kanhailal and Hiren Roy that Calcutta, worthy special point out for their unrivaled skill and also craftsmenship. Nodu Malick known as Nodu Babu did much research and also experimentation and also was insrtumental in standardising the various parts that the sitar.Many artist of the twenty century have contributed to the popularisation of the sitar, but two name merit one-of-a-kind mention. One of them is Ravi Shankar, the human being renowned sitarist and also the worthy disciple the Allauddin Khan, and also the various other one is the descendant that Sahabdad Khan and Imdad Khan and the most melodious sitarist of contemporary times, Vilayat Khan. These 2 artists took sitar baj to brand-new heights.Nikhil Banerjee is one more artist who needs special mention as he modified his sitar further with the help of Hiren Roy, acquisition it come an unimaginable level that depth and tonal quality. Uma Shankar Misra, Balram Pathak, Rais Khan, Abdul Haleem Jaffar Khan, Devavrit Chaudhuri, Manilal Nag, Imrat Khan, Kartik Kumar and Shamim Ahmed room a couple of names from the lengthy list of sitar players of the twenty century. Jaya Bisbas, Manju Mehta, Kalyani Roy and Krishna Chakravorty are among the ladies sitar players, who earned a surname for us in this field. Amongst the younger generation of artists, Shahid Parvez, Buddhaditya Mukherjee and also Shujaat khan have currently made a name for themselves. A number of budding artist such together Shubhendra Rao, Niladri Kumar, Gourav Majumdar, Prateek Chaudhuri and also many others, guarantee a glowing future because that this instrument.The sitar have the right to be divided into 2 parts: the fingerboard and also the resonator. The complete length of the sitar is approximately four or four-and-a-quarter feet. The fingerboard is around three feet long, around three-and-a- 4 minutes 1 to three-and-a-half inches wide, and three-and-a- half inch in diameter. The fingerboard, referred to as dand, is do preferably that tun wood, and also is hole from inside. However dand make of teak timber is also common. Pegs are fixed for the main strings top top one end of the dand and the other end is fixed to the tumba or the resonator by method of a joint called gulu. The resonator made of gourd is hole from inside and also is extended with a wood plate called tabli. The gourd, the wooden plank and the joint gulu space the most vital parts the the instrument creating the key resonating chamber. The tabli acts together the soundboard top top which the two bridges, one because that the main playing strings and the other, a smaller one, for sympathetic strings, space fixed.There room seven key playing strings and also eleven to thirteen forgiveness strings. This strings space tied v a nail-shaped cable holder referred to as langot at the reduced end and that pass v the fingerboard. The five main strings go through an additional bridge dubbed meru or aad in ~ the upper end prior to being lastly tied up to their respective pegs, vice versa, the sympathetic strings pass with the tiny holes drilled into the spanning of the fingerboard to their corresponding pegs fixed on the appropriate side of the sitar. The two chikari strings have their pegs addressed on the side portion of the fingerboard below the peg box and just before the sympathetic wire pegs; these strings rest on two tiny pins made of bone or stag horn which act as the bridge for this chikari strings.The main bridge that the sitar dubbed ghurach is just one of its crucial parts. The is flat in shape, and its length, width and also height are about eight centimetre, three and two centimetres respectively. The bridge provided for forgiveness strings is rather small in size and also fixed just before the key bridge. Both of these and the top bridges (meru) room made of stag horn or camel bone. The suggest where the strings touch the main bridge is actually responsible for the tonal top quality of the sitar, and also thus, special care is required to ensure that the surface does not acquire a mark or a groove since of the constant pressure that the main playing strings. If this point gets abrased, the surface is filed. This filing is dubbed javari setting, and it is a really skilled and technical task which deserve to be performed just by an experienced person.The sitar has nineteen come twenty frets tied through the silk or nylon subject on the fingerboard. However, the variety of frets is not fixed and is variable. Three to 4 mankas (beads) for fine tuning space put right into the strings. The 2nd resonator is either made that a gourd or of wood, however in any case that is detachable.Till the middle of the twenty century sitar there is no tarabs was really popular, but lately this exercise has come to be quite rare. Another kind of sitar i m sorry was rather in vogue it spins the 1950s was the Kachhap sitar or Kachhua sitar. It was favor an simple sitar, the only distinction being that the resonator was level instead of ring in shape. This practice has now been discontinued.Around 1940-45, the sitar was fairly standardised. Nowadays it is obtainable in 2 models: one is the Ravi Shankar model and the other is the Vilayat cannes model. Both these models are an ideal for the execution of their respective layouts of sitar playing.In the Ravi Shankar model sitar the total variety of main strings is five, plus 2 chikari strings. In this sitar two thick strings, one each of lower pancham (ati mandra) and lower shadja (ati ati mandra) referred to as laraj-kharaj-ke-taar, are fixed. These two thick strings developing the base sound space not existing in the Vilayat Khan version of sitar. In Ravi Shankar model sitar the dand is a bit more comprehensive in order come accommodate these 2 thick strings and also the instrument is comparatively heavier, vice versa, Vilayat Khan version of sitar is small, there is no the hefty body, having six main and also eleven forgiveness strings. However, it has actually a more thickness soundboard (tabli) than the Ravi Shankar design sitar. In Ravi Shankar"s version an extra gourd on the top side is fixed. This extra gourd solved in this kind of sitar is to enhance the volume and also clarity the the base strings, and to administer a better balance come the player. This is detachable and can be taken turn off while travelling. Also, these sitars space decorated v fine inlay work and also wood carvings, conversely, the Vilayat Khan version does not have an extra resonator and also is also very simply decorated. These features add to their tonality which differ quite a lot of from every other.The tuning and also gauge the the strings, the setting of jawari and also the shape of the frets are likewise different. Naturally, these two models space prepared keeping in mental the suitability for executing their respective styles, and, therefore, one artist who wants to buy a sitar has actually to offer his or her details preference regarding which model of the sitar he/she requires.Another model of Nikhil Banerjee format is also present, yet it is not commonly used. It is a mixture of both the above discussed models. It likewise has one extra little bridge (jawari), fixed just listed below the top nut for the base strings.The sitar is a very popular instrument and also is very in demand. It have the right to be purchase from any type of musical tool shop. However, Calcutta, Varanasi, Lucknow, Miraj and Delhi are well-known centres for making an excellent sitars. Hiren Roy that Calcutta earned much fame as an extraordinary craftsman and made a number of excellent instruments. He died a couple of years ago, however, the sitars do by him are still in demand and also artists choose buying second hand sitars made by him to buying a new sitar.

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Rikhi lamb & Sons, Delhi, has likewise earned a name in making great quality sitars.To strike the strings the sitar, a cable plectrum called mizrab is worn top top the right hand forefinger. If playing, the player sit on the floor in a position dubbed Ardha Gomukh Aasana.