Dilruba Info

in Dilruba, Info


Dilruba is a stringed instrument. Its name has been derived from two words namely dil + ruba. Dil means heart and ruba means enchanter(robber). So dilruba means something that enchants the heart. it is mainly used in religious songs and light classical music in the northern part of India. An alternative to Dilruba is called as Esraj and it is popularly used in South of India.

It is believed to possess some of the characteristics of Sitar and Sarangi and comes out as a new instrument. It is said that women found it difficult to play Sitar or Sarangi since both required significant calluses which resulted in disfigurement of fingers. So a substitute was developed that produced the same melodious sound as Sarangi and easier to learn & play.

Dilruba has a very interesting structure. It consists of a sitar-like neck and about 20 metal frets. It also contains 4 main strings and approx. 15 sympathetic strings. Soundboard is composed of stretched goat skin and it occasionally consist  of a gourd which facilitates sweetening of sound. Sound is produced when when main strings are touched with a bow and they resonate. It is mostly used as an accompanying instrument.

While playing it can either placed on the lap or in front and the neck lying on the left shoulder. One hand is used for bow(or gaz) and other one for playing the strings. Strings of the dilruba are generally tuned to Ma Sa Pa Pa.

Some of the renowned players of Dilruba are:  Pandit Shiv Dayal Batish, A. R. Rahman, Pandit Ranadhir Ray, Kalipada Ghoshal, Buddhadeb Das, Master Sri Chinmoy, Ravi Shankar, S. N. Bose etc.

Famous Dilruba Makers are: Maharaja Musicals, Jamuna Dass & Sons, Melvin Musicals etc.

Since Dilruba is made from organic materials, so one might have to suffer from tuning problems in early days due to climatic changes but later on it is very easy to use and tune.

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