“I thought I had never heard anything more beautiful…as I listened, I Seemed for the first time to know something of the inner world about me. To me it seemed that evening as if the dumb had found a voice, and deaf ears had gained the power of hearing.” (A.C Wilson A short Account of Hindu System of Music.) This is the beauty of Sarangi and beauty of Indian Music that one, far from this land had attracted same way as an Indian soul did.
In the prestigious new grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the Sarangi is described as follows “A bowed chordophone occurs in a number of forms in the Indian subcontinent. It was a wasted body, a wide neck without frets and is usually carved from a single block of wood. In addition to its three or four strings it has one or two sets of sympathetic strings. The Sarangi originated as a folk instrument but has been used increasingly in classical music.”
This cryptic description like the one above reveals next to nothing about this major Indian bowed instrument, which probably originated as the same time as violin. It also ignores the fact that the Sarangi family comprises the largest number of Indian stringed instrument. There are a great variety of Sarangi is common in India, all the instruments belong to this family.
Although the largest Sarangi used in contemporary classical music evolved only recently around the 1850’s hardly anything is known about the craftsmen who specialized in making this instrument. Sarangi are commonly 64-67 cm. long with the belly (pet or pasli) hollowed out in the front. The neck (chati or sina or chest) and head (mages or dimag or brain) which consists of two page boxes are hollowed out from the back. Thus, a Sarangi contains four separate chambers. In the partition between belly and neck there is a large hole at the back (35-40 mm in diameter) which seems to be a distinguishing feature of the Sarangi. The Sarangi usually has 35 resonance and three heavy gut strings.
The art of crafting as well as playing good Sarangi is a complex skill that requires experience. Traditionally these have been passed within clans from father, grandfather or uncle to the children. Learn how to play Sarangi with online class lessons (http://sarangilessonsonline.com) conducted on “Skype” by GAALC.
Take the online Class of Sarangi Instrument with GAALC Online Music School
Sarangi is a fret less instrument so before play we have to know where the notes lay.
The high positioned main string of Sarangi is stopped by pressing the fingernails sideways against them. Most Sarangi players use the part of the nail just under the cuticle with the fingertips touching the fingerboard (pathari).The bow, made of rosewood or ebony, gives the vocal quality of the Sarangi’s sound. Tone and playability are dependent on its placement and contouring of the bridges, the thickness height of the strings, and the fitting of the pegs.
The famous sarngi players are Gopal Misra, Abdul Latif Khan, Shakur Khan, Ram Narayan, Sabri Khan, Sultan Khan Etc. GAALC offers you online Sarangi training lesson on “Skype” conducted by Indian Sarangi Guru or teachers.
How to tune Sarangi:
The Sarangi has a relatively wide pitch range and can be tuned from C sharp to F sharp. Hence, there are two basic tuning system: a) Chargha, keytone-fifth octave (S P S) the most common tuning which by transpotition becomes fourth key tone fourth (M S M) and is called madhyam that. b) keytone fourrth octave (S M S) which by transposing becomes fifth key tone fifith (P S P) and is called thath. Sometimes the kharaj is lowered a whole tone so that the tuning becomes fifth key tone fourth (P S M). This is to extend the lower register.
The tuning of the sympathetic striings also follows two basic systems, one for accompaniment and the other for solo. In both the main tarabs are tuned chromatically. Online Sarangi learning class lessons offered by GAALC India are one-on-one, live, real time, interactive learning program on “Skype” or Google hangouts”.
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