Geographic Region: South Asia
Country of origin: India
SvH No.: 321.322
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The sarangi is a short-necked bowed chordophone found in India and Pakistan. Although there are a number of varieties of bowed chordophones in India, many of which are called by the name ?sarangi? or a related word, the example shown here is a classical sarangi used in the art music of North India.
Tuning and technique
The first (highest-pitched) and third (lowest-pitched) playing strings are tuned to sa, a note equivalent to do (tonic) in the western system. The second string is tuned a 4th below the first string. The sympathetic strings are tuned to the various notes found in the particular piece being performed; one set of sympathetic strings may also be tuned to the twelve subdivisions of the octave. The player of the sarangi sits on the ground, with legs folded, and holds the instrument against his or her left shoulder. The notes are fingered with the fingernails of the left hand, and the bow is held in an underhand fashion with the right hand.
History and context
There is evidence that the sarangi was originally a folk instrument, but was imported into classical music in the 18th century, and is still associated with folk music as well. Because of the difficulty of playing the sarangi, as well as stigma attached to it, the prominence of the sarangi has been diminishing over the last century within art music contexts.
Qureshi, Regula et al. “India.” Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 26 Mar. 2009. http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/43272
Last Modified: 12-May-2010TOP