The SwarShala Indian music software includes Sitar and over 80 other perfectly sampled virtual Indian instruments.
The sitar is a plucked string instrument, widely recognised in Hindustani music. While its exact origins have not been agreed upon, it is seen dating back to some 700 years ago in the Mughal Empire of India. 16th Century Sufi poet, Amir Khusrow, largely contributed to its popularity, and during the past few decades the word “Sitar” has become commonly associated with the Persian word “Sehtar”, meaning three-stringed instrument.
The base and additional resonator are made from gourds, and its neck and faceplate made from wood. It holds a 4-foot-long neck with usually 18 strings — 6 to 8 of which are playing strings and two drone strings. Some sitars, such as the Kharaj-pancham and Bishnupur have seven strings, and the Gandhar-pancham has only six strings.
The sitar is typically played while seated, held at a 45° angle across the player’s lap. WIthout instruction, learning to twist the playing strings may prove difficult, and the same with fretting or tuning the sympathetic strings. There are specific techniques associated with learning to play the sitar, which involve:
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