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Kirya

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Reply with quote  #1 
This is on Vimeo
and also in Facebook

Pretty detailed overview of sitars

https://www.facebook.com/rikhirammusical/posts/1553933594686230

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Jojolefthishome

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks for posting. I enjoyed that very much. Just wish the background music was more in the "background"
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barend

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Reply with quote  #3 
Very nice video!!

few things I noticed (and some questions about it):
1) he keeps all sitar tuned to D
2) shorter scale length of VK sitars. He mentioned 47-48 for VK and 48-49 for RS style sitars. Are that inches and how does he measure? Normally it is measured from where the string leaves the jawari until where the string runs in the first nut. But that is not how he measures it.
3) The frets are very flat on the sides. Why is that?
4) I didn't know the absence of decorations on VK sitars are because of sound purposes (?)
5) I like how he screws the upper nuts on the neck instead of cutting in the neck
6) he mentioned the NB style sitars had 8 strings. But on which recording does NB play an 8 string sitar? Almost all recordings I have is 'just' 7 strings.
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mahadev

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NB never used the 8th string. If he ever did it was for a very short time only. I should have asked him but never did. What I heard is that it was suggested to him not to mix styles. Out of respect he removed the string. It may have also hampered the use of the kharaj which was important to him.
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dhawal

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Referring to many images available on google, we do see that Pt. Nikhil Banerjee's sitar had 8 main pegs.

http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0002/409/MI0002409628.jpg?partner=allrovi.com

does this mean he played an 8 stringed sitar?
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mahadev

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Reply with quote  #6 
No. He left the 8th peg empty.
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David Russell Watson

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
He mentioned 47-48 for VK and 48-49 for RS style sitars. Are that inches and how does he measure? Normally it is measured from where the string leaves the jawari until where the string runs in the first nut. But that is not how he measures it.
It's inches, but he's giving the full length of the instruments, not the scale length.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
The frets are very flat on the sides. Why is that?
I watched the video again trying to see what you mean, but didn't notice anything unusual, and I'm not sure I yet understand what you mean.

Do you mean that, with the sitar sitting horizontally and viewed from the side, a cross section of a fret is thicker vertically than horizontally? If so, I'd think that's just good engineering, removing as much unnecessary material as possible, since the greatest pressure on the fret in use is in the vertical axis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
I didn't know the absence of decorations on VK sitars are because of sound purposes (?)
That's a claim you sometimes hear, and it's been discussed on this forum a few times in the past, without everybody agreeing that it should actually make much difference.

David
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barend

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "David

I watched the video again trying to see what you mean, but didn't notice anything unusual, and I'm not sure I yet understand what you mean.
I mean that the curvature of the frets is less round than on other sitars. They start round but then go very flat till the side of the fingerboard. Seems more exaggerated on the higher frets.
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David Russell Watson

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
I mean that the curvature of the frets is less round than on other sitars. They start round but then go very flat till the side of the fingerboard. Seems more exaggerated on the higher frets.
Oooohhhh. Yeah, I've noticed that on some sitars. Some of the highter-note frets look almost like hockey sticks, lol.

I have no clue what the advantage might be.

David
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barend

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "David
I have no clue what the advantage might be.
Maybe increased meend range or something? Or maybe less chance of strings coming against other frets? You have that sometimes when doing big meends on higher frets.

Never played on that kind of frets but I think most Rikhi Ram sitars of the last ten years or so have that. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Sanjeeb

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hey Max,
you are in this video:

Regards
Sanjeeb
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yussef ali k

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi, all - hope life's good.

Barend, my opinion on 3 of your points:

4) I am led to think sitar construction usually follows the choices of prominent players of the day ('Stalwarts'): The sparser decoration is - I believe - a nod to VK's achievements who knew -like most sitaryas- peacocks had no positive effect on timbre.
His choice could also be his aesthetic response to KL/RS designs, harking back to his father's sitars (which were not tuned GP-style).

3) Fret profile is again a VK lead: He wanted 2 strings in the area where KP's had 4 (= more space) so he changed fret PROFILE to 'hockeystick' [Thanx Dr Watson ;-) ]: both targahan spacing & fret profile influence meend range.

5) The screwed U-profiled Nut/Spacer is a clever design (Ajay once told me that was one of their own 'twists'): I tried & enjoyed, but never had 1 at home, so...

Dhawal,

It seems that people get simpler & less fussy w/ age: NB, VK and even RS went the 'empty peg way'.
Additional as well as 'missing' strings influence nut spacing etc (see above).
That's also how many Indian sitarists decorate their sitars, these days (they look nice or people wouldn't follow... but then again ...).

Hope this's of use... & ... have fun!
Y.
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yashekbote22

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "David
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
He mentioned 47-48 for VK and 48-49 for RS style sitars. Are that inches and how does he measure? Normally it is measured from where the string leaves the jawari until where the string runs in the first nut. But that is not how he measures it.
It's inches, but he's giving the full length of the instruments, not the scale length.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
The frets are very flat on the sides. Why is that?[/quote Hello everyone myself Yash from Mumbai, n I'm an amateur sitar player. From whatever I have learned and discussed with the sitar manufacturers in Miraj, I can say that sometimes when playing in the higher frets when we take meend the sound may get discontinued. This is called choking of string. Also by making the frets flat the meend can be easier to take up to the higher notes. As far as the decorations topic is concernd, there are lots of opinions. Even I used to ask people about this that why vk sitars don't have much decorations, they said that for tonal reason. Generally it is believed that pt rs sitars have a little bit thinner face plate which is called a tabli, n vk sitars have thicker tabli. But technically by addition of carving the amount of wood present is more in the rs sitars because if you observe the elaborate carvings it is clear that to accommodate such carving more wood is required. So logically thinking vk style sitars should be more carved as logically it would ultimately helps in the thickening of tabli and sound endurance would be even more. Strangely it is opposite. So what I think and with the opinions of sitar manufacturers, carving is not a major factor regarding the tone. Sitar measurements and the jawari ( the shaping of the face of the bridge) are the main diciding elements.
I watched the video again trying to see what you mean, but didn't notice anything unusual, and I'm not sure I yet understand what you mean.

Do you mean that, with the sitar sitting horizontally and viewed from the side, a cross section of a fret is thicker vertically than horizontally? If so, I'd think that's just good engineering, removing as much unnecessary material as possible, since the greatest pressure on the fret in use is in the vertical axis.


That's a claim you sometimes hear, and it's been discussed on this forum a few times in the past, without everybody agreeing that it should actually make much difference.

David
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Sanjeeb

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thanks for this post.
Sanjeeb.
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