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chrisitar

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Reply with quote  #1 
So you know the baaj string will give an octave harmonic when you lightly dampen above the Ma fret since that's halfway between the jawari and ard patri, well I accidentally discovered that the lowest taraf also gives a fifth harmonic if you slip your finger under the baaj string and lightly dampen it between the Ma and Shuddh Gha frets while you pluck it. Isn't that cool?

I never realized the Ma position was also the exact fifth interval on the lowest taraf string and the baaj so they harmonize at the same place. Especially since there is some wiggle room with the placement of the taraf jawari on different sitars that would cause the harmonic to shift. 

Test it on your sitar if you'd like to report back, I'd like to know if this is standard!

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chrisnovice

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Reply with quote  #2 
Surely the octave harmonic on the lowest taraf is around the komal ni fret. The harmonic around the ma fret area is a 5th (pa - assuming its a sa taraf).
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chrisitar

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Reply with quote  #3 
Yes you are correct, my mistake! Still a neat coincidence or intentional design feature! Is yours the same? I imagine some Etawah sitars will not be able to do this since the lowest taraf is sometimes extended outward to ease the pinky plucking they like so much [smile]
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chrisnovice

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Reply with quote  #4 
And remember that you can position the taraf bridge pretty much anywhere you want since there are no fret positions to worry about. So there is no direct correlation between the string lengths of the tarafs to the playing strings. Conventionally the taraf bridge is positioned just inside the edge of the main bridge, but it doesn't have to be.
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chrisitar

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Reply with quote  #5 
Yea that's why I was surprised they lined up! Actually many other tarafs have harmonics located under harmonic spots and perfect 4th intervals on the baaj and joditar perfectly between the frets
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barend

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Reply with quote  #6 
Good observation but I am not sure how you could use this? The harmonic on the lowest taraf is too weak to use because the string doesn't have really much tension. Besides it is hard to pick with the mizrab and also the fret is in the way a bit.
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chrisitar

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Reply with quote  #7 
It can be useful when tuning! But other than that yes no real use during performance. Yet another reason the design and construction of this instrument is so cleverly fascinating! 
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