Handbook of Sitar (History, Anatomy, Learning and Maintenance)

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Item Code: IDL016
Author: Pankaj Vishal
Publisher: Pankaj Publications, New Delhi
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 9788187155959
Pages: 92 (24 B/W Figure Illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5" X 5.5"
Weight 170 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description


Music is considered to have a divine origin and one which brings its practitioner very close to God. It is said that God created music to give a proof of His presence. Therefore, the existence of music is as old as humanity itself. But later it came to be presumed that music is an inborn quality, given by God Himself, and therefore it can not be learned here on this earth. One may be trained in music and excel, provided there is genetic support. But, it is not a universal fact. One can learn everything with proper sincerity and devotion.

Keeping this in view, the present series of hand books have been prepared as a reference material for those who have just got in a formal touch with music and if it knocks the gate of anyone’s emotional energy, to proceed further in this field. For this, we have selected one of the oldest instruments of our music tradition – the Sitar. It is an instrument which is capable of energizing anyone’s senses with its sweet sound.

Moreover, our classical instrumental music has an edge over other forms of music of the world. Vocal music has a sort of limitation as it is bound in worlds, hence it leaves the audience with a limited scope of imagination, largely confined to the meaning of words and its ambience. But contrary to that, an instrument communicates with the audience in an affective form and energizes the senses according to the imagination of an individual listener. It does not confine the listener to any area and thus leaves with enormous possibilities of imagination. That is why a book in the form of a handbook has been brought out to facilitate a beginner in familiarizing himself with the so called difficulties of Sitar, so that if one feels the necessities for enjoying instrumental music, he may have a ready reference at the initial stage itself.

The book does not claim to give you details and intricacies of music as well as of Sitar but it will, most certainly, give you a plain to stand on. Moreover, this book does not intend to replace the position of a guru in the field of music. The principal aim of this book is to provide a ready reckoner to the beginners for satiating all inquisitiveness related to music in general and the Sitar in particular:

I would like to place on record the blessings of my revered guru, Sarod maestro, Pt. Sunil Mukherjee, whose teaching and training has enabled me to understand the nuances of music such as its philosophical as well as emotional aspects. I am also indebted to my first guru, Pt. Mor Mukut Kedia, who made me capable of holding the Sitar and write this book.

I am also indebted to my parents, who, in spite of all odds in life, did not discourage me but gave all their support to pursue music.

The publisher of this book, Mr. Vikas Bajaj, and the publishing house – PANKAJ PUBLICATION, deserve special mention and thanks for carrying out this enormous job which is in fact a small step towards saving this old and dying tradition of our Indian culture.

Any suggestion to enhance the quality of this book is heartedly solicited.




Preface v
Part 1: Theory of Music 9-40
The Indian Music System 11
Lay (Tempo or Speed) 21
Taal (The Rhythm) 24
Indian Music Notation System 30
Format of Music on Sitar 32
Western Notation System 34
Points to remember in Combined Notation System 39
Part 2: The Sitar – Then & Now 41-54
History and Development 43
Indian String Instruments 46
Famous Sitarists 50
Part 3: Know The Sitar 55-66
Various Types of Sitar 57
Parts of a Sitar 60
Strings & Frets 65
Part 4: Playing The Sitar 67-72
Sitting Positions 69
Important Tips While Playing the Sitar 71
Part 5: Sounds and Notes 73-82
Production of Basic Bols 75
Position of Notes on Frets 78
Steps to Shift the Frets 79
Flaying Basic Swaras 80
Part 6: Tuning and Maintenance of a Sitar 83-92
Tuning the Sitar 86
Repairs & Maintenance of a Sitar 90
Tips for Buying a Sitar 92


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