|Themes > Arts > Music > Musical Instruments > Musical Instruments of South Asia > Sarangi|
on photo for 110K
first a rather coarse affair, the sarangi has become through the
ages a sophisticated bowed instrument whose imitative capacity to reproduce
the sound and texture of the voice is without comparison. Hence its use
for accompanying singers, which reminds us of the role played by the mediaeval
fiddle in Europe during the middle ages. Its actual shape and structure
probably date back to the 14th Century and its mentioned in a 16th Century
text. Successive improvements came later.
Its technique is unique in the fact that the back of the nails glide along the three gut strings placed 1 centimeter above the neck, which allows all types of phrases characteristic of Hindustani music: meend, which are glissandos prevalent in dhrupad, and gamakas, which are oscillations made around the notes and widely used in khyal.
(Talc powder is
used in order to ease the gliding of the palm on the side of the neck).