– the Sitar is the most popular instrument of North Indian
Classical Music. It can have up to four main strings, three or four
drone strings and thirteen sympathetic, or resonating strings. There
are few versions of Sitar are available today. Sitar is made of
seasoned gourd and wood.
Sarangi – is the most prominent bowed instrument
in North Indian Classical Music, and traditional accompaniment for
Vocal classical, tabla solo as well as solo Sarangi performances.
About two feet in length, the instrument is made of wood covered
with parchment, and has four gut strings on top and twenty-three
sympathetic strings that help give the Sarangi its shimmering sound.
Sarod – is a fretless lute with a fingerboard
faced with metal and bottom part of the instrument is covered with
the goat skin. It is plucked with a pick made out of coconut shell.
Sarod has evolved from Afgani instrument known as Rabab.
Santur - this instrument consists of a finely finished
trapezium shaped box with metal strings run across the top. The
strings are grouped in three strings per note, called courses, and
sounded by striking with a pair of wooden mallets. Santur is very
similar to the hammered dulcimer of Europe.
Surbahar – is a bass Sitar. It is substantially
a larger instrument than a Sitar, and is tuned anywhere from four
steps to an octave lower than a Sitar. Surbahar has an advantage
over Sitar in that it has a longer sustain and it’s ability
to meend (glissando) up to an octave from a single fret. A Surbahar
produces much heavier sound than a Sitar, therefore this instrument
is used commonly for Alap, Jor and Jhala.
Tanpura – Tanpura is a drone instrument.
It looks similar to a Sitar without any frets. A Tanpura has four
strings tuned to the tonic of the given Raga. A Tanpura is always
used for the classical vocal recitals.
Tabla – paired hand drums is the primary
percussion instrument of North Indian classical music, semi-classical
music, dance and solo performances. Comprising of a baya (left hand
drum) and tabla (right hand-pitched treble drum), the instrument
is capable of producing a variety of distinct, tonal and percussive
sounds covering the gamut from low growling inflections to staccato,
torrential flurries to bell-like tones. The right hand is one of
the only two drums in the world (both North Indian) capable of producing
an accurate pitch with no conflicting overtones. Using combination
of pressure and moving strokes varies the pitch of the left hand