21 Gerel John F.

Fortu 3-SLR

10 Indian Plucked String Instruments:
1 . Sarangi

The Sārangī is a bowed, short-necked string instrument of India which is originated from Rajasthani folk instruments. It plays an important role in India's Hindustani classical music tradition. Of all Indian instruments, it is said to most resemble the sound of the human voice – able to imitate vocal ornaments such as gamakas (shakes) and meend (sliding movements). It is also said to be the hardest Indian instrument to master.

Carved from a single block of wood, the sarangi has a box-like shape, usually around two feet long and around half a foot wide. The lower resonance chamber is made from a hollowed-out block of tun (red cedar) wood and covered with parchment and a decorated strip of leather at the waist which supports the elephant-shaped bridge. The bridge in turn supports the huge pressure of approximately 40 strings. Three

of the strings – the comparatively thick, tight and short ones – are bowed with a heavy horsehair bow and "stopped" not with the finger-tips but with the nails, cuticles and surrounding flesh (talcum powder is applied to the fingers as a lubricant). The remaining strings are resonance strings or tarabs (see:sympathetic strings), numbering up to around 35, divided into 4 different "choirs". On the lowest level are a diatonic row of 9 tarabs and a chromatic row of 15 tarabs, each encompassing a full octave plus 1–3 extra notes above or below. Between these lower tarabs and the main playing strings lie two more sets of longer tarabs, which pass over a small flat ivory bridge at the top of the instrument. These are tuned to the important tones (swaras) of the raga. A properly tuned sarangi will hum and buzz like a bee-hive, with tones played on any of the main strings eliciting echo-like resonances. A few sarangis use strings manufactured from the intestines of goats - these harken back to the days when rich musicians could afford such strings..

2. Surbahar

Surbahar (Urdu: ‫ ; سرب ہار‬Hindi: सुर बहार), sometimes known as bass sitar, is a plucked string instrument used in the Hindustani classical music of North India. It is closely related to sitar, but it has a lower tone. Depending on the instrument's size, it is usually pitched two to five whole steps below the standard sitar, but Indian classical music having no concept of absolute pitch, this may vary. The instrument can emit frequencies lower than 20 Hz. Surbahar is over 130 cm (51 inches). It uses a dried pumpkin as a resonator, and has a neck with very wide frets, which allow a glissando of six notes on the same fret through the method of pulling. The neck is made out of tun (Cedrela tuna), orteak wood. It has four rhythm strings (cikari), four playing strings (the broadest 1 mm), and 15 to 17 unplayed sympathetic strings. There are two bridges; the playable strings pass over the greater bridge, which is connected to the tabli with small legs, which are glued in place. The sympathetic strings pass over the smaller bridge which is directly glued on the tabli. The main bridge has a slightly bent upper surface which results in a droning sound, because the vibrating span of the strings quivers ever so slightly. The instrumentalist plays the strings using a metallic plectrum, the mizrab, which is fixed on the index finger of whose right hand. Three plectrums are used to play the dhrupad style of alap, jor, and jhala on surbahar. In thedhrupad style, instead of performing the sitarkhani and masitkhani gats, the instrumentalist plays the slow dhrupad composition in accompaniment with pakhawaj.

3. Esraj

The s a string instrument found in two forms throughout the north, central, and east regions of India. It is a young instrument by Indian terms, being only about 200 years old. The dilruba is found in the north, where it is used in religious music and light classical songs in the urban areas. Its name is translated as "robber of the heart." The esraj is found in the east and central areas, particularly Bengal (Bangladesh and Indian states of West Bengal andTripura) and it is used in a somewhat wider variety of musical styles than is the dilruba.The Dilruba originates from the Taus and some argue is the work of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, whilst that of the Taus was the work of Guru Hargobind (the sixth guru of the Sikhs). The Dilruba was then produced to replace the previously heavy instrument (the Taus). This attempt was intended to 'scale down' the Taus into what is now known to be the Dilruba. This made it more convenient for the Sikh army to carry the instrument on horseback. The structure of both instruments is very similar, each having a medium sized sitar-like neck with 20 heavy metal frets. This neck holds on a long wooden rack of 12-15 sympathetic strings. While the dilruba has more sympathetic strings and a differently shaped body than the esraj, they both have four main strings which are bowed. All strings are metal. The soundboard is a stretched piece of goatskin similar to what is found on a sarangi. Sometimes the instrument has a gourd affixed to the top for balance or for tone enhancement.

The instrument can be rested between the knees while the player kneels, or more commonly rested on the knee of the player while sitting, or also on the floor just in front of the player, with the neck leaning on the left shoulder. It is played with a bow (known as a "gaz"), with the other hand moving along the strings above the frets. The player may slide the note up or down to achieve the portamento, or meend, characteristic of Indian music.

4. Ektara

Ektara (Bengali: একতারা, Punjabi: ਇਕ ਤਾਰ; literally "one-string", also called iktar, ektar, yaktaro gopichand) is a one-string instrument used in Bangladesh, India, Egypt, and Pakistan. In origin the ektara was a regular string instrument of wandering bards and minstrels from India and is plucked with one finger. The ektara usually has a stretched single string, an animal skin over a head (made of dried pumpkin/gourd, wood or coconut) and pole neck or split bamboo cane neck. Pressing the two halves of the neck together loosens the string, thus lowering its pitch. The modulation of the tone with each slight flexing of the neck gives the ektara its distinctive sound. There are no markings or measurements to indicate what pressure will produce what note, so the pressure is adjusted by ear. The various sizes of ektara are soprano, tenor, and bass. The bass ektara, sometimes called a dotara often has two strings (as literally implied by do, "two").

5. Swarmandal

The swarmandal or Indian harp is an Indian zither that is today most commonly used as an accompanying instrument for vocal Hindustani Classical music (the classical music of North India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh). The name combines swara (notes) andmandal (group), representing its ability to produce a large number of notes; it is also known popularly as Sur-mandal. Swarmandals measure from twenty-four to thirty inches in length and twelve to fifteen inches in width. The singer may choose to employ any number of strings from 21 to 36. The strings are hooked in a nail lodged in the right edge of the swar-mandal and on the left are wound around rectangular pegs which can be tightened with a special key. Wooden pegs were used instead of metal ones in the medieval period. A sharp half-inch ridge on both sides of the swar-mandal stands a little apart from the nails on which the strings are tightened. This ridge functions as a bridge on both sides. The swar-mandal is similar to the autoharp or zither in many respects.

6. Sarod

The sarod is a stringed musical instrument, used mainly in Indian classical music. Along with the sitar, it is the most popular and prominent instrument in the classical music of Hindustan (northern India, Bangladesh and Pakistan). The sarod is known for a deep, weighty, introspective sound, in contrast with the sweet, overtone-rich texture of the sitar, with sympathetic strings that give it a resonant, reverberant quality. It is a fretless instrument able to produce the continuous slides between notes known as meend (glissandi), which are very important to Indian music.\

7. Santoor

The santoor is an ancient Babylonian stringed musical instrument. It is a trapezoid-shaped hammered dulcimer often made of walnut, with seventy strings. The special-shaped mallets (mezrab) are lightweight and are held between the index and middle fingers. A typical santoor has two sets of bridges, providing a range of three octaves. The Kashmiri santoor is more rectangular and can have more strings than the Persian counterpart, which generally has 72 strings. The santoor as used in Kashmiri classical music is played with a pair of curved mallets made of walnut wood and the resultant melodies are similar to the music of the harp, harpsichord, or piano. The sound chamber is also made of walnut wood and the bridges are made of local wood and painted dark like ebony. The strings are made of steel.

8. Sitar

The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument predominantly used in Hindustani classical music, where it has been ubiquitous since the Middle Ages. It derives its resonance from sympathetic strings, a long hollow neck and a gourd resonating chamber. Used throughout the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the sitar became known in the western world through the work of Pandit Ravi Shankar beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s after The Kinks' top 10 single "See My Friends" featured a low tuned drone guitar which was widely mistaken to be the instrument . The sitar saw further use in popular music after The Beatles featured the sitar in their compositions, namely "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" and "Within You Without You". Their use of the instrument came as a result of George Harrison taking lessons on how to play it from Shankar and Shambhu Das . Shortly after, The Rolling Stones used a sitar in "Paint It Black" and a brief fad began for using the instrument in pop songs.
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9. Tambura

The tambura, tanpura, or tambora is a long-necked plucked lute (a stringed instrument found in different forms and in many places). The body shape of the tambura somewhat resembles that of the sitar, but it has no frets – only the open strings are played to accompany other musicians. It has four or five (rarely six) wire strings, which are plucked one after another in a regular pattern to create a harmonic resonance on the basic note (bourdon or drone function). Tamburas come in different sizes and pitches: larger "males", smaller "females" for vocalists, and a yet smaller version is used for accompanying sitar or sarod, called tamburi or tanpuri. Male vocalists pitch their tonic note (Sa) to about C#; female singers usually a fifth higher. The male instrument has an open string length of approximately one metre, the female is three-fourths of the male. The standard tuning is 5-8-8-1 (sol do' do' do) or, in Indian sargam, PA-sa-sa-SA. For ragas that omit the fifth, the first string is tuned down to the natural fourth: 4-8-8-1 or Ma-sa-sa-Sa. Some ragas require a less common tuning with shuddh NI (one semitone below octave sa), NI-sa-sa-SA. With a five-string instrument, the seventh or NI (natural minor or major 7th) is added: PA-NI-sa-sa-SA (5-7-8-8-1 )or MA-NI-sa-sa-SA (4-7-8-8-1). The name tambura is probably derived from tana, referring to a musical phrase, and pura which means "full" or "complete". Both in its musical function and how it works, the tambura is unique in many ways. It

does not partake in the melodic part of the music but it supports and sustains the melody by providing a colourful and dynamic harmonic resonance field based on one precise tone, the basic note or key-note.

10. Rudra Veena

The rudra veena is a large plucked string instrument used in Hindustani classical music. It is an ancient instrument rarely played today. The rudra veena declined in popularity in part due to the introduction of the surbahar in the early 19th century which allowed sitarists to more easily present the alap sections of slow dhrupad-style ragas. The rudra veena has a long tubular body with a length ranging between 54 and 62 inches made of wood or bamboo. Two large-sized, round resonators, made of dried and hollowed gourds, are attached under the tube. Twenty-four brass-fitted raised wooden frets are fixed on the tube with the help of wax. It is one of the three other major types of veena popular today. The others include vichitra veena and Saraswati veena. Out of these the rudra and vichitra veenas are used in the Hindustani classical music of North India, while Tanjour veena (also known as Saraswati veena) is used in the Carnatic music of South India. As Rudra is a name for the Hindu god Shiva, rudra vina literally means "the veena dear to Shiva." The Rudra veena was modified as the Shruti veena by Dr.Lalmani Misra to establish Bharat's Shadja Gram and obtain the 22 shrutis.