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date: 22 November 2019


  • Alastair Dick


Hybrid plucked lute of north Indian classical music, combining features of the Sitār and Rabāb . The resonator is that of a sitar, with a wooden soundtable and shoulder and the rest of the resonator of gourd, and with the trestle-shaped deep curved bridge of that instrument. In the upper part, the neck, with at most two tied frets, and a bent-back, animal-headed open pegbox, flares down at the back and sides, like the upper chest of a double-chested rabāb; it is covered with a fretless chrome-metal fingerboard. The instrument, about 122 cm long, is held diagonally across the body and tuned and played similarly to the long-necked rabāb, but with a wire plectrum like that of the sitar. It has five metal melody strings, a drone, and two punctuating strings, tuned g–d–c–G–C–e–c‘-c’. It also has several sympathetic wire strings.

Surśṛṅgār means literally ‘a romance of notes’ (see also Sūrbahār ...

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