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sitarsitar_102_bak.jpg (7539 bytes)Sitar is perhaps the most well known of the Indian instruments.    Artists such as Ravi Shankar have popularized this instrument around the world.   Sitar is a long necked instrument with an interesting construction.   It has a varying number of strings but 17 is usual.    It has three to four playing strings and three to four drone strings.    These strings are plucked with a wire finger plectrum called mizrab.    There are also a series of sympathetic strings lying under the frets.    These strings are almost never played but they vibrate whenever the corresponding note is sounded.   The frets are metal rods which have been bent into crescents.   The main resonator is usually made of a gourd and there is sometimes an additional resonator attached to the neck.

Sitar is used in a variety of genre.   It is played in north Indian classical music (Hindustani Sangeet), film music, and western fusion music.   It is not commonly found in south Indian classical performances or folk music.

Sitar is a long necked lute with 20 curved metal frets.It is plucked by the index finger of the left hand fitted with a plectrum made of wire. Sitars generally have 6 or 7 main playing strings which run above the frets,and an additional 12 or more sympathic strings,which give the instrument an shimmering echo when played. The bridge of the Sitar which is retangular gives the instrument its characteristic sound.

The Sitar evolved from the Vina of the north probably sometim e in the 13th Century. Changes in the instrument are attributed to the famed Sufi poet Amir Khusrau.


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