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date: 14 November 2019


  • Alastair Dick


Large plucked lute of north Indian classical music, effectively a bass Sitār. It was invented c1820 by the famous sitar player Ghulam Muhammad of Lucknow (or, some say, by his teacher, the bīṇ player Pyar Khan) as a sitar suitable for playing the older Hindustani raga style of the bīṇ (see Vīṇā, §7 ). Its construction is essentially that of the sitar, but with the following differences: the overall dimensions are much larger, with a length of 145 cm or more, a neck width of at least 11 cm and the diameter of the soundtable more than 40 cm; the gourd-section at the back of the shell is flat-backed and round-sectioned (as is the table), like the kachvā sitār (see Sitār), often with a projecting wooden floor-rest on the left side of the gourd; the tied curved metal frets are often vertically flat-sectioned, with small flat plates at either end for support; the pegbox is separate, bent back and often has a scroll, open at the back and with a bilateral (two left, three right) arrangement of the main pegs. Some ...

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