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The Sitar

The sitar is a stringed instrument from India made from half a seasoned hollowed gourd and a long hollow neck of teak wood. It has 20 movable frets with 6 or 7 metal playing strings and usually 13 sympathetic resounding strings below. It is finely decorated with carved wood, mother of pearl and beads for fine tuning.

The raga is the modal basis of Indian classical music; it is a prescribed selection of melodic material with a structure for composition and improvisation. Each note has a definite character and different aspects of the mood are evoked and gradually projected towards the listeners.

There has been a demand for the sitar in Western contemporary music in many different fields; jazz fusion, pop, electronic and world music. Since the popularity of east/west fusion and studio mixes, the sitar has much to offer with the array of sounds it can produce, both authentic and electronic.

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