Last Updated on Mon, Apr 5, 2004

[Raga Tala Top] [Sitar Top]

Welcome to Sitar Section


1. Definition

Organoology is a branch of sciences which investigates in all kinds of sound producing instruments in view of their sound makings, instruments making, classification, history and music cultures.

For musicologists or ethnomusicologists, this term is much familiar than someone in other fields (see 2003).

Generally, the objects of organology is considered as "musical instruments," but there are some difficalties in taking this term as self-explanatory because the connotation of this word may change in varieties of views from different music cultures.

To put in other way, what is considered as a "musical" instrument may change in cultures, because what is considered as musical or music may also change in different cultures.

Organology was praimarily a science of classification for musical instruments, however, organology in contemporary view point will look such sound producing instruments as medium of human beings for creating rich musical cultures.

There are some other definitions as follows, in which the term "musical instruments" is used as self-explanatory and the deep and wide conotation of this term may be killed.

The science of musical instruments including their classification and development throughout history and cultures as well as the technical study of how they produce sound.(COLE 2003)

2. Classification

The sitãr is a kind of lute family chordophones (string instruments), specifically a long-necked type of lutes, which is composed of a long neck with frets and a resonator body. The silhouette of the instrument is much similar to the same kind of lutes in the West Asia, for example, Iranian or Persian setãr.

3. Dimensions-1

Overall length:

Overall length of the standard modern sitãr may vary between 1225mm and 1250mm or longer according to the makers, models, or production year. One of documtneted measurements shows overall length as 1220mm (DICK 1984a), refering to the 19th century Bengali book (TAGORE 1875).

From observations on some sitãr-s of different production years and documented data, it may result in that the older is an instrument , the shorter is the overall length.

Shell size:

The shell (resonator body) size may also vary based on natural calabash size.

Neck size:

The neck of modern instrument has around 87mm of width and around 42mm, at the top most position, and 48mm, at neck root, for thickness in case of my instrument (made by Radha Krishna Sharma in 1985). Other example (made by Hiren Roy & Sons in 1960s) has 42mm for the top and 45mm for the neck root.

3. Dimensions-2 Coming soon.

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