Necked bowl lute (321.321 .-6). From ancient times, it is found with different names and shapes in India. According to tradition, during the Mogol reign, the poet and singer Amir Khusru (1254-1324) inverted the string order, placing the highest one on the left of the player and introduced the movable frets to ease the use of different raga (s). He also gave its final name to this kind of lute (Persian se = three and tar = string).
Nowadays it is the most popular instrument in the North of the subcontinent. Together with the tambura lute and the tabla membranophones it constitutes the typical musical group of that region. There are different varieties of sitar (s). The specimen at the museum belongs to the most frequent type, which has seven simple metal courses that pass over the nineteen frets. It is with the four or five highest pitched courses, especially the first one, that the melody is played. They are plucked with a mizrab, a wire plectrum worn on the player's righthand forefinger, while the left hand forefinger and middle finger shorten the vibrating length. The remaining courses (chikaris) that only effect drone notes are played with the righthand little finger.
The eleven sympathetic strings of different length that complete the set pass under the frets, that introduce themselves into small holes made on the fingerboard and adjust to the pegs distributed along the neck.
Label: LAHORE MUSIC HOUSE I MANUFACTURES, EXPORTER & IMPORTER I SUPPLIERS TO ALL INDIA RADIO STATIONS I DARYA GANJ, DELHI - 6.
L. 126 x w. 33.5 x h. 25 cm.
Gift, Indian Embassy in Argentina, 1979. IM 631