INDIAN MUSIC FORUMS

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theactor10

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Reply with quote  #1 
This is from a live performance in the '60s. On his left hand, he's wearing mizrab on his pinky finger. Anyone know why?

http://s24.postimg.org/kc3vgdhud/ravi_shankar.jpg
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Swannie

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Reply with quote  #2 
I've noticed a lot of pictures where he has a mizrab on his left hand. I've always thought it was just in case he needed an extra, if the one he was using broke or was bent or something.
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coyootie

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Reply with quote  #3 
oh yes- wearing a mizrab like that is an indication that the wearer has undergone advanced secret initiations, but it varies from gharana to gharana.there is furious controversy whether it should be worn with the striking point facing in or out.there is also great argument about whether it should be worn on the little finger or ring finger as subtle pranic currents can be affected.It's referred to in the sangita samhita somwheres but I can't recall where.and according to lingayats who do not recognize caste/varna, anyone can wear a mizrab on their finger, like rudrakshas.and etawah players always wear a copper mizrab, but seniya gharana usually wear steel ones except in the case of the Jaipur variants of the Ghulamiya Rajanandaswami Pagal Khana tradition.
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barend

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Reply with quote  #4 
It is strange to keep a spare mizrab on your pinky. I always keep a spare mizrab around one of the taraf pegs. Always 'store' my main mizrab there also. Think I have the same mirab for over 5 years now.
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povster

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Reply with quote  #5 
On a different note, I usually wear a spare mizrab on my pinkie when I am out and about for one simple reason. I may be passing by or browsing a used "junk" store or pawn shop or a flea market etc. and a sitar may pop up amidst the other stuff. It helps to have a well fitting mizrab at the ready in such an instance. And yes, I do carry a few spare strings in my backuo as well, just in case.
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theactor10

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Reply with quote  #6 
In this particular performance of the picture I posted, you can hear Ravi making a percussive sound, that sounds like he is hitting the wood/soundboard at certain high-energy moments, much like a flamenco guitarist would. I doubt it is from the pinky mizrab, but would it be from his main mizrab? Anyone know how he does this?
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CheesecakeTomek

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Reply with quote  #7 
Yes it is with the main mizrab, a forceful ra stroke that goes on to strike the area near the tarabs. Sometimes this strike is directed in such a way to hit the first two or three tarabs creating an added splash of sound.

Re: wearing mizrab on left pinky- my teacher (a student of Raviji's) told me way back in the beginning of my training that that was a good place to keep the mizrab, and I have been fond of it, though occasionally it does fly off, which is good for an impromptu eyesight check

However, reading coyootie's detailed thoughts have me feeling quite self conscious at the moment ops:
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #8 
He was being silly.
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coyootie

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Reply with quote  #9 
!!!!
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #10 
??? (You were not being silly?)
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coyootie

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Reply with quote  #11 
how silly/snarky do you have to be before everyone can get it.
what about the impact on the environment of sitars!!!!
i'd also worry about the impact of bad playing, on everything.imagine how much the harmony of the spheres can be disrupted.................
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barend

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "CheesecakeTomek"
Re: wearing mizrab on left pinky- my teacher (a student of Raviji's) told me way back in the beginning of my training that that was a good place to keep the mizrab, and I have been fond of it, though occasionally it does fly off, which is good for an impromptu eyesight check
I don't understand how it can be handy to keep a mizrab on your pinky? (To me) It is more easy to keep it on one of the taraf pegs. Never falls off. On your pinky it can easily fall off or interfere with your playing.
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CheesecakeTomek

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
He was being silly.
As was I :wink: Perhaps I should have 'd
Quote:
I don't understand how it can be handy to keep a mizrab on your pinky? (To me) It is more easy to keep it on one of the taraf pegs. Never falls off. On your pinky it can easily fall off or interfere with your playing.
Sorry, I should clarify- I don't do it with a spare mizrab, but rather with my primary mizrab. Thus, when I am playing, I am using it. I have kept it on the taraf peg before, and find that it has fallen off, often in the case so no worries, but also if that side of the sitar slants down (perhaps when moving in or out of the case, etc.).

Anyways, obviously this is a "to each his own kind of thing." I now have a nice little box where I keep my oil, two mizrabs, and a parrot feather (because it's green and pretty). But sometimes I bring my mizrab around, particularly when life prevents me from doing much riyaaz and I want to keep my callus in check. My current mizrab happens to fit fairly snugly on the pinky, so I like to wear it there when not on my index finger (I had a slightly larger one before and often I clipped it to my key chain because that one DID like to fly off, particularly when I would reach into pockets). Wearing the mizrab also serves to bring my mind to the music when it otherwise may be occupied with other things, like oh! I feel my mizrab. Let me think about raag X that I have been practicing for a moment. Ah, yes, that's how it goes

The ultimate security was keeping it on a safety pin attached to my spiral-bound notebook, but since I don't reference that as much as I did in my early years, it became impractical. Wooden box all the way 8)

Anyways, there's a little insight into how my relationship with el mizrab has developed over there years
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barend

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "CheesecakeTomek"
Sorry, I should clarify- I don't do it with a spare mizrab, but rather with my primary mizrab. Thus, when I am playing, I am using it.
ok, thanks for clarifying. That makes more sense. But it seems like Ravi is using a spare one around his pinky while playing. That seems odd to me.
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CheesecakeTomek

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Reply with quote  #15 
Oh yeah, didn't catch that detail. So yeah, my fellow student refers to my act of wearing the mizrab as my "wedding ring." Maybe he was doing it as a sign of devotion. Again, to each their own!
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