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Introduction of Sarod

The sarod is a stringed instrument of India, used mainly in Indian classical music. Along with the sitar, it is among the most popular and prominent instruments in Hindustani classical music. The sarod is known for a deep, weighty, introspective sound, in contrast with the sweet, overtone-rich texture of the sitar, with sympathetic strings that give it a resonant, reverberant quality. It is a fretless instrument able to produce the continuous slides between notes known as meend (glissandi), which are important in Indian music.



Sarod is an instrument which is derived from the rabab.  It is not an ancient instrument, probably no more than 150 to 200 years.  It is essentially a bass rabab.  It has a metal fingerboard with no frets.  The bridge rests on a taut membrane which covers the resonator.  The sarod has numerous strings, some of which are drone, some are played, and some are sympathetic.  The approach to tuning is somewhat similar to other stringed instruments.  It is played with a pick made of coconut shell.


school-chalao-sarod2 image


Construction and character of the Sarod

With high-quality instruments the resonance body, the neck and the peg box are made from one single piece of wood. The type of wood that is used is mostly tun or teak wood. Simpler and more inexpensive Sarods are composed of two parts. Here, the peg box is put on separately. The wooden body that is covered with goatskin has a thin horn bridge across which the strings are running. The fingerboard on the neck consists of a polished, shiny steel plate and does not have any frets. The Sarod has a second sound box made of brass which is fixed to the top end of the neck. It has both, playing strings and drone strings. The playing strings are fingered or plucked; the drones strings are vibrating at the same time, but are not struck themselves, and produce an echo-like effect.


Playing technique

The lack of frets and the tension of the strings make the sarod a very demanding instrument to play, as the strings must be pressed hard against the fingerboard.

There are two approaches to stopping the strings of the sarod. One involves using the tip of one's fingernails to stop the strings, and the other uses a combination of the nail and the fingertip to stop the strings against the fingerboard.


school-chalao-sarod3 image


How to Play Sarod


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