Mayuri Sitar

Mayuri Sitar

The sitar is India's most famous instrument (mainly thanks to Ravi Shankar) and used in Hindustani music. It is made in different sizes. The body of the sitar is made of a large gourd (from a tropical fruit), with a front of hard wood. The neck is also made of hardwood and hollowed out. It is covered with a fingerboard, which is slightly concave.

The neck extents into the tuning head. The frets are made of half round metal hoops, which are tied to the neck with nylon string, and can be moved if necessary. The second gourd on the top is mainly for decoration and is often removed or not placed at all. The edges of the neck, body and tuning head are inlayed with bone, often with red and white etching. The back of the body has some woodcarvings.

All strings are made from metal. There are 7 main strings, 3 of which are fingered; the others serve as drones. The two lowest ones are the high chikari strings, which are played separately for rhythmic effects. Usually, there are two big round friction tuning pegs in the front, and 3 on the left side of the tuning head, while the two pegs for the chikari strings are similar in size. Underneath the chikari pegs are 12 smaller pegs for the resonance strings called 'taraf', which run through the small holes in the fretboard. All 7 main strings run over a flat bridge, and all resonance strings run over a smaller, lower bridge underneath the main strings. Both bridges are slightly rounded, giving the strings a buzzing sound.

Playing the sitar is with a wire finger-plectrum (mizrab), so you can pick up and down. The strings are all on the left side of the neck, so you have space to pull the strings (mainly only the first one) upwards to 4 notes. Music was not written down, but learned by the pupil from the master player. Classical Indian music is very old and a whole repertoire of raga's exist.

The instrument which Tomasz plays called Mayuri Sitar and was designed by himselves. It is bigger than the traditional sitar, and is a hybrid – a mixture of sitar and surbahar which gives deeper, bass sounding. Magnificently sculptured, adorned with floral patterns as well as animal – peacock’s head as the ending of the fret board – from this pattern this instrument got its name - mayuri (mayur means peacock) sitar.

The instrument is manufactured in India and labeled with the name of the artist.


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