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NYCNOMAD

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Reply with quote  #1 
In my initial quest to buy a sitar, I have noticed the occasional black sitar.
Of course it's about finding a great sounding instrument but they look pretty austere and minimalist. I'm wondering if any maker is known for these models and if there is any interesting history to them?
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John

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Reply with quote  #2 
The one that seems to get talked about most is Yusuf Mirajkar - probably because Ustad Shahid Parvez plays one.

Hmmm... I suspect you're about to find yourself in one of those 'but doesn't sitarmaker X make all of the sitars for sitarmaker Y...?' conversations.

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povster

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "NYCNOMAD"
In my initial quest to buy a sitar, I have noticed the occasional black sitar.
Of course it's about finding a great sounding instrument but they look pretty austere and minimalist. I'm wondering if any maker is known for these models and if there is any interesting history to them?

That minimalist design is typical of the sitars from the Imdadkhani (aka Etawa) gharana (a style of playing based on geography and/or lineage) of sitar playing, They usually have no carving on the back, "mother of pearl" inlays, very light carving on the tabli (face of the sitar where the bridges sit) and plain or swirl design pegs. As John says, the black was popularized by Shahid Parvez (Vilayat Khan's newphew). Vilayat Khan, Shuujat Khan (his son) and many others of the Imdadkhani gharana use(d) brown sitars.

The design is typically referred to as "gandar/pancham" for the way it is strung (no bass strings and a 4th chicari string tuned to gha), as opposed to the "Ravi Shankar" style of sitars called "Kharaj/Pancham", which has 3 chicari strings and two main bass strings.

Since you are shopping for a sitar you need to determine which style to get. This would typically be based on what teacher you have chosen and their style.

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NYCNOMAD

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks for the advice and replies. This is some really interesting stuff.
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OM GUY

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Reply with quote  #5 
I just picked up a Bashir from lars and I am swooning over the sound as well as the weight and feel. I don't recall playing the black one that he has at Rain City, but it's worth a look.
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povster

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "NYCNOMAD"
Thanks for the advice and replies. This is some really interesting stuff.
Most welcome. Have you looked into teachers yet? Any idea, between the Vilayat Khan style (ghandar/pancham) and Ravi Shankar style (kharaj/pancham), on what type of sitar you're looking for?

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Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
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NYCNOMAD

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Reply with quote  #7 
I'm only familiar with shankar style but I'm beginning to investigate what the major differences are. So until I have a clear idea, I wont be making any purchases. I'm located in Astoria queens. I'm coming to the sitar with the motivation to let it influence my guitar playing which already has a sitar/blues style. In the vain of John fahey and James blackshaw. I am immersed in an improvised music project with a web site on the way under the name Holmes and Howls. Any suggestions on making a style choice or finding a teacher in NYC would be appreciated. I am familiar with the guru/student relationship being I studied with a sufi teacher for many years who unfortunately had to return home to Turkey due to health issues. Thanks for the rain city tips as well!
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