An Indian Instrument

What is a Sitar?

A Sitar is a long stringed Indian instrument which is classified in the lute family. Some Sitars looks similar to a guitar. It originated from the Middle East from many modifications to the Veena a different stringed instrument. Sitars usually consists of 6 or 7 metal playing strings and 13 sympathetic resonating strings. Amir Khustro created the first Sitar in the 1300s . Sitars are usually made out of wood and gourd. The body of the Sitar is made out of a hollowed and dried pumpkin called a Toomba. The Sitar is the most well-known instrument in the Indian culture.
This picture shows a Sitar and all the parts and specs to make the Sitars work

Famous Sitarists

There are many Sitar players in the world but two of the most famous composers are Ravi Shankar and his daughter Anoushka Shankar. Ravi Shankar became very famous when he taught George Harrison from the band the Beatles how to play the Sitar. Ravi Shankar was born on April 7 1920 and just recently passed away on December 11 2012. Ravi composed many many albums/songs. Anoushka Shankar was born on June 9 1981 in London England. Anoushka married Joe Write in 2010. Her newest album is titled Traveler.
This picture is of Ravi Shankar a famous sitarist playing his Sitar

Did You Know?

  • The word Sitar comes from the Persian word Sehtar which means three stringed.
  • In the song Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones the main guitarist Brian Jones used a sitar.

How is the Sitar Used?

The sitar is played by plucking the strings with a finger piece called a Mezrab,many sitar players rest the sitar in their lap at a 45 degree angle. The instrument is played horizontally- left to right and vertically-top to bottom. The sitar is used by single musicians and sometimes in rock bands. Some bands use electric sitars so it blends into the rest of the music that is being played. The sitar is commonly used in the Hindustani which is Northern India. The Sitars music is supposed to be emotional and mean something to every individual.