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Jhaptal

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Reply with quote  #1 
So I was just looking at the amount of posts there are on the sitar page as opposed to the sarod page. As of now there are 20600 posts in the sitar/surbahar section and 945 in the sarod section. While this is totally unscientific it would suggest there are twenty sitar players to every one sarod player. Does that sound right? At first I thought that was ludicrous but maybe not. If these numbers are correct then what do we attribute that to. Obviously theres the 60's angle bringing in a lot more sitarists but could that be it? Has there always been so many more sitarists than sarod players? Sarod needs to fire his PR guy, he's doing a horrible job Any thoughts?
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #2 
An important consideration is that this is an English language forum, and so is going to be more heavily represented in Westerners than, say, a forum in Hindi. And in the West, the sitar is vastly more well known in the general population than the sarod. And since that knowledge of "sitar music" (as it is often called) is concentrated heavily into a certain generation that is likely to have been fans of the Beatles, I think much of the "blame" for the extra familiarity for sitar can be laid at the feet of Raviji! All of the bickerings about who was best aside, PRS was definitely a savvy promoter of the music...and he picked the right British musician to start teaching basic sitar to!

Also, I think again to westerners, the actual tonality of the sitar with its characteristic jawari attack/decay can be more captivating at first listen than to the simpler lute-like sound of the sarod. This may be another reason why vocal ICM is not as widely appreciated in the West, I wonder...when you strip away the interesting "sounds" of a new instrument with its strange timbres and tonality, and its just a voice (same as you have in the West), it may be more intimidating to a casual Western listener, unfamiliar with the intricacies of raga music. Just a theory though. But for myself, I had to really start studying raga and ICM in order to get to a point where Hindustani vocal music didn't just sound repetitive and boring to my (at that time, quite ignorant) ears.
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OM GUY

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Reply with quote  #3 
I can say that I had heard some ICM in the mid to late 50's. It wasn't until PRS brought his sitar music to the USA and I saw and heard him play later on, that I wanted to lay my hands on a sitar. I must say that while I enjoyed AAK and his sarod, I wasn't as enthralled about getting one to play it.

But then too, even growing up in NYC/NJ, you had to physically go to get La Bella sitar strings in NYC, Manny's Music store, I believe. Mizrabs? No one knew what those were, outside of seeing one in "My Music-My Life"... for all I knew at the time, the only sarod was the one that AAK brought and left with.

That's how I recall it back then. So perhaps the reason was there were more sitars than sarod's available in the USA, I can't say for sure. Besides, look how difficult it is to get a sitar teacher today in certain parts of the country, imagine the lack of sarod instructors....

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Let's hope 2016 is less violent and that people discover the soothing influence of ICM. Hari OM!
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plectum

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Reply with quote  #4 
It is the same in India as it is in the west. Sarod teachers are very hard to find. If you go outside Mumbai, delhi or kolkata, very rarely can u find someone who teaches sarod. As the number of teaches is less so also will be the number of students. One wonders however why this is so. At the same time that we had pt. ravishankar, ut. vilayat khan, and nikhil-da playing sitar, sarode was also ably represented by ut. bahadur khan, pt. radhikamohan maitra, and of course Aliakbar khan himself, and all of them took students. It was not as if teachers were unavailable or quality of music was inferior. Yet, sitar has proved to be by far much more popular. Food for thought.
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You know, music, art - these are not just little decorations to make life prettier. They're very deep necessities which people cannot live without. ~~ Pablo Picasso
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John

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Reply with quote  #5 
Interesting. Veeerry interesting.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that a sitar has frets? Most 'western' students of sitar I come across tend to be guitar players or former guitar players such as myself. Whilst this creates many problems (as have been discussed at length on this board), somebody (I forget who, but I must have trusted them otherwise I'd have forgotten this) pointed out that any previous experience of playing a member of the fretted lute family is a better starting point than not at all in terms of neuron pathways. My brain is wired for fretted lutes. :wink:
It's funny, but if I had the opportunity to go back to myself at five years old and say 'dedicate yourself to this instrument', I'd choose sarangi over sitar. However, there's no way I'd consider learning sarangi (or sarod, but less so) now because the playing technique is so alien to me.
Interesting that sarod's diminishing popularity in it's homeland has been mentioned. On my recent trip to India, sarodiya's seemed to outnumber their long-necked counterparts by about 3:1.

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tablatime

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Reply with quote  #6 
there are certainly more sitarists than sarodists and probably more sitars as wall decorations than sarodes. most people have never heard of the sarode ,but many have heard the twang of the sitar on all sorts of commercials and film scores. the sitar is usually the first choice of guitar players as they usually don't have fingernails, and don't want to give up fooling around on the guitar. the sitar is also easier to learn the beginning lessons, with frets to guide you,but sarode in the long run has the easier technique for producing raga music. we teach in mexico and getting instruments for the students is the most difficult task. we have found and repaired several sitars,but except for a sarode found in an antique store in mexico df, there are only the ones we've brought ourselves. NICM is alive and well in mexico, and suffers only from a lack of good instruments.....
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