Sarod Info

in Info, Sarod

Sarod is one of the Stringed Musical Instruments found in India. Just like Sitar, it is widely used in Hindustani(North-Indian) Classical Music. It is assumed to be around 200 years old and hence not an ancient instrument.

Sarod in Persian means a beautiful sound or melody. Sarod has been derived from Rebab but its sound is deeper and heavier than a rubab and for this reason it is also known as “bass rabab”. It is a Fretless instrument.

Sarod has a unique and easily identifiable sound due to the presence of extended air column below the fingerboard. Apart from sound and structure, Sarod differs from Sitar and Tanpura due this extended air column.

Sarod is believed to have come from Afghanistan but since then it has taken certain variations. Some of the notable changes in sarod are: replacement of wooden, fretted neck with a smooth polished-steel fingerboard, metal strings are used instead of silk strings and addition of sympathetic strings for enhancing the tonal quality.

Structure of Sarod also varies with the Gharana(school) of playing it. Maihar Gharana uses a Sarod with a round drum just as found in veena while members of Shahjahanpur and Gwalior Gharanas mostly use elliptical-shaped drum.

Since it is a fretless instrument, so it is the most favoured instrument. Various strings are present in Sarod out of which some are drone, some are played and some are used as sympathetic strings. Unlike other stringed instruments, strings of sarod can be stopped either by the tips of fingernails or by a combination of nails and fingertips.

A pick made of coconut shell, ebony, cocobolo wood or rosewood is used for playing a Sarod. This pick is also known as ‘jaba’ and is used by holding it between the thumb and fingers. It helps in generating fast strumming and dramatic slides between the notes.

Sarod can be easily tuned just like other stringed instrument. Tuning depends upon the note to be played or occasionally on the number of players.

Some of the renowned players of Sarod are Amaan Ali Khan, Ayaan Ali Khan, Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta, Shahadat Hossain Khan, Aashish Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Allauddin Khan, Amjad Ali Khan, Ghulam Ali Bangash, Hafiz Ali Khan etc.

Some of the famous Sarod manufacturers in India are: Maharaja Musicals, Bina Musical Store, Melvin Musicals, Delhi Musical Stores etc.

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