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date: 16 November 2019

Dilrubālocked

  • Alastair Dick

Extract

Long-necked fiddle of north India and Pakistan. It is used primarily to accompany popular and religious urban song. The dilrubā (‘robber of the heart’) is, like the esrāj of Bengal, a hybrid instrument: the body, made from a single piece of wood, has a resonator like that of the sāraṅgī –waisted and rectangular, covered by a goat-skin soundtable; the neck, however, is like that of the sitār (but smaller), with a convex wooden fingerboard and thick, curved brass frets tied on. Like the esrāj nowadays, it usually has a guitar-derived pegboard with machine heads. There are four main bowed strings, of steel and brass, and usually 12 to 15 thin steel sympathetic strings, the pegs of which are inserted vertically into a narrow plank of wood running down the bass side of the neck. The bridge is arched and of bone and the string holder is inferior. The fiddle is played vertically, resting on the thigh and leaning against the left shoulder, usually with a convex ...

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