Object: Sitar

AS-12-04-071
Stringed instrument: sitar
Hindu India
Date unknown
Materials: wood, ivory, metal strings, gourd, sting.

The sitar is a classical musical instrument from North India. The sitar resembles a plucked, long necked lute. The player would pluck the six major stings with a metal pick like device that is fashioned out of wire. The thirteen sympathetic strings of the sitar are not plucked, but instead provide a droning sound as the sitar is played.

The construction of this sitar is consistent with the standard classical method of construction. The gourd resonating chamber is connected to the wooden neck by a decorative wooden device that is secured with a combination of glue and nails. The strings are connected to the resonation gourd by a string block that allows the vibration of the strings to be transmitted into the gourd where they are amplified. The tuning devices for the strings are called the peg box.

Click here to hear what a sitar sounds like.

The Ethnology department of SNOMNH invites and encourages your comments on this particular North Indian Sitar. [Zach Duvall]

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