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Definition: sitar from Musical Terms, Symbols and Theory: An Illustrated Dictionary

an Indian stringed instrument played with a plectrum. It contains from three to seven strings and has movable frets. The sitar is characterized by up to 12 sympathetic strings. See also lute; plectrum; string family.

Summary Article: sitar
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Large long-necked lute used mainly in North Indian (Hindustani) music. The hollow neck is made of wood, and the body is half a hollow gourd with a thin wooden belly. Some instruments have a small gourd resonator attached to the upper end of the neck. The neck has 16 to 24 curved, movable frets made of metal. Modern sitars have 6 or 7 playing strings (5 melody and 2 for drone and rhythmic punctuation) and 12 or more sympathetic strings. The sitar is the best-known solo concert instrument in the tradition, where it is usually accompanied by the tabla drum pair, and is also well known outside India.


Indian Music

Key words connected with Indian music



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