INDIAN MUSIC FORUMS

Sign up Calendar Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Mathieu

Registered:
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
Dear All,

I am a french musician and since i discover the wonderfull sound of the Surbahar
I would like to buy one and i have the opportunity to go to India in february. But i saw different type of surbahar, some with 8 main strings, some with only seven... Is there different type like sitar ?
What are your advice about that subject ?
Thank you for your answer and I wish you all a happy new year
Mathieu
0
nicneufeld

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,564
Reply with quote  #2 
Allow me to speak as another aspiring (but not yet) surbaharist...as far as I gather, the 8th string is generally a "gandhar" chikari akin to gandhar pancham sitars. The main strings are all tuned the same way...four fretted strings (Low Sa, Low Pa, Sa, Ma), and the 7 string surbahars will be tuned like a kharaj pancham with three chikari strings (Very high Sa, High Sa, Pa). The 8th string just adds a fourth chikari. I think the differences between an 8 or 7 string surbahar are much less pronounced than the differences between kharaj pancham and gandhar pancham sitars, which has a much more profound effect on playing style and range of notes.

One thing to consider is what particular style or surbaharist you are interested in. Ustad Imrat Khan is the chief exponent of the Etawah gharana, and has his unique style. He seems to play almost exclusively 7string surbahar, but he intimated that they "took off" the 8th string at some point (perhaps he used to have an 8 string?). Then there is the more traditional dhrupad ang, which has a style that is more unique and less sitar-like...much more into the rudra veena territory. Pt. Pushparaj Koshti is a well reputed master of this style from what I've heard, but I know precious little about dhrupad still, I'm sorry to say!

Good luck in your quest! The surbahar is a magnificent sounding instrument.
0
pepperman

Registered:
Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Mathieu,

There is a 8 string surbahar for sale on the French Ebay. Looks interesting.
http://annonces.ebay.fr/viewad/Surbahar-Sourbahar-Sitar-basse/5048465518?bu=http%3A%2F%2Fmusique-instruments.shop.ebay.fr%2Fi.html%3F_trksid%3Dp4939.m570.l1313%26_sacat%3D14982%26_from%3DR40%26cmd%3DBlend%26LH_PrefLoc%3D0%26_nkw%3Dsitar
Best,

Pepper
0
musicslug

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 280
Reply with quote  #4 
bonjour Pepperman,

this is the first I've heard of an 'extra' string on surbahar - and I've been playing for 12 years. I think you'll find that pretty much all surbahars being made now have 7 strings (+ sympathetics).

you can find very nice surbahars quite easily - if you're willing to spend something like $3000. there are also many available (Radha Krishna Sharma for example) for about half that much. opinions vary whether the RKS are any good. my experience is that they're fine, especially for a beginner, assuming you have access to someone who knows how to work on them, since they'll need at least some work (new strings, jawari - sanding of the bridge) if you buy one new.

surbahars are oddities: they were invented so that rudra vina players could teach sitar players how to play rudra vina music - they wouldn't teach rudra vina to anyone who wasn't in their lineage! in other words, they're sort of half-way between rudra vina and sitar: not as long a sustain as a rudra vina but louder, not suitable for the very fast playing typical of sitar. the jawari can be done to make them sound sitar-like or rudra-vina-like. in other words, chameleon-like, you might say.

the most famous surbahar player is Annapurna Devi, who unfortunately has done very little recording. her biography is pretty interesting, and what little music is available is gorgeous. as pointed out, Imrat Khan and Pushparaj Koshti are also worth listening to.

if you are in India, and you like the Dhrupad style (more like rudra-vina, as played by Z.M.Dagar and his son Bahauddin), you might get in touch with Bahauddin in Mumbai about studying while you're there. I'm not sure where Pushparaj Koshti is based (Pune?), but Bahauddin would know.

forum member 'surbahar player' is in Rotterdam, so he might be able to assist you - a very nice guy!

good luck!

Daniel
0
pepperman

Registered:
Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Daniel,

Thanks for for your accurate "aper
0
yussef ali k

Registered:
Posts: 322
Reply with quote  #6 
Hi all - NN, Daniel, Pepper': thanks for the info.

Am looking for anything concerning the surbahar/kachuva sitar, &
0
pepperman

Registered:
Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #7 
I don't know much more than that. Last summer I've attended a Pt Ashok Pathak sitar workshop and the most dedicated of his students had an 8 strings sitar. Where I was wrong is that the additional chikari is not a Ga, but it goes Pa Sa Sa Sa. You can check on Ashok Pathak's luthier's site
http://www.sitarfactory.be/
he adds the chikaris on sitars and surbs/
Best,

Pepper
0
Surbaharplayer

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 425
Reply with quote  #8 
Most of the surbahars from the students from Pt. Ashok Pathak are made by Kartar Hari Chand, a relatively unknown builder from Delhi. My first instrument (a sitar) was built by him: a fine instrument! I've recently ditched my Pa-chikari on my surbahars btw in favor of all Sa's (like a rudra veena); I like the "openness" of the chikaris somehow. Kanai Lal surbahars also have a low chikari string (a low Sa) that can be plucked with the left hand pinky.

Pt. Pushparaj Kosthi lives in Mumbai. If you are on Facebook you can find him there as well (dunno if he checks his messages regurlarly). Bahauddin is also on FB.
0
pepperman

Registered:
Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #9 
Unfortunatly Hari Kartar Chand is closing his shop and retiring.
0
chefothefuture

Registered:
Posts: 205
Reply with quote  #10 
One of my Surbahars is an 8 string, short scale SA= A.
The other is a 7 string, long scale SA=G.

For some reason, the 4 chikaris do annoy me so I remove the lower/longer one and just tune PA, SA, SA.
Though for a while I did do, PA, PA, SA, SA, but it sounded too rattly .....

FWIW, I prefer the "Big G" ....
0
Lars

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,452
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "pepperman"
Unfortunatly Hari Kartar Chand is closing his shop and retiring.
I wondered if that was happening, I tried to visit there a few times last Spring and in the Fall and he wasn't at the shop. If anyone sees him please send our best wishes, he's such a pleasant person hope he's doing OK.

Lars

__________________
http://www.raincitymusic.com
0
Sanjeeb

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 464
Reply with quote  #12 
I just spoke to Hari Kartar Chand to confirm. He goes less to his shop. If anyone needs him urgently, call him at 9711218482 and he may be able to meet you. He is a very good workman.
Happy New Year
Jai Yeshu
0
nicneufeld

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,564
Reply with quote  #13 
Here's a pic from an album cover of Ust Imrat Khan's surb circa 1975:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dYwwVir4CeY/TiAUcZ08TvI/AAAAAAAAAPU/KBIqwIj7jRo/s1600/Imrat+Khan+-+Nordindische+Ragas+-+Live+-+front.jpg

Note that it is an 8 string, but close inspection shows one of the kuntis is not in use, and it is strung with standard 3chik, 4main. I wonder if this is one of the old family surbahars (ie., Enayat Khan's).
0
fossesitar

Registered:
Posts: 983
Reply with quote  #14 
Just a note to fellow sur-bahar lovers: if you want a surb that can easily be carried
around in a light weight soft case (with backpack straps), thrown on an international
flight as checked luggage without an upcharge, is virtually indestructable as opposed
to the extremely fragile acoustic, and can be played as loud (or as soft) as desired -
which still has the wonderful growl in the kharaj (Ustad Imrat Khan called it "that
dragon sound" when he auditioned this surb) consider the new 2012 carbon "Ultra"
Sur-Bahar along with the fine offerings from the other makers mentioned here.

It is also much easier to hold and play since it has the same body as the Ultra-Sitar.
Geared tuners for all sympathetic strings, immense tuning stability, light weight.
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.