Esraj Monoj Kumar Sardar

The esraj of Monoj Kumar Sadar is a real premium instrument. It provides a good quality of material and workmanship and a full, round sound.

EU: 489 € (incl. bow)
incl. 19% VAT, plus 6.90 € shipping within Germany / 6.90 € within Europe
Non-EU: 410.92 € (incl. bow)
plus 6.90 € shipping within Europe / overseas on request
Features

Dark stained toon wood, synthetic varnish surfaces, sound box covered with goat skin, synthetic bridges, frets made of nickel silver, peg head with cogwheel mechanism for four melody strings, 15 sympathetic pegs on screwed sidebar, string holder made of metal, inlay work made of engraved celluloid, back side of sound box with carved decoration.

The included simple bow meets Indian quality standards but it cannot be compared with high quality classical Western bows. Among other things, the adjustability of the frog is relatively small, so that the bow can be drawn only relatively slack. The tensioning device shall therefore be turned only carefully and without force. Attempts to draw the bow further by applying force, may lead to damaging the tensioning device.

General Info

Construction
The esraj's long neck has frets similar to the sitar's. The rounded wooden corpus is covered with goatskin, which functions as a resonator. The goatskin membrane carries a bridge with four playing strings made of steel or bronze. Moreover, 15 sympathetic strings run through the body of the bridge. The esraj is bowed with a violin bow. Its rich and resonant sound reminds faintly of the acoustic colours of ancient European renaissance instruments.

History
The esraj was developed in the 19th century in the Northeast of India to accompany folk music, khyal and thumri songs. In the first half of the 20th century, the esraj became quite popular mainly in Bengal as an accompaniment of Tagore songs. As a classical solo instrument, however, the esraj is heard very rarely. In the second half of the 20th century, the esraj went somewhat out of fashion. Around the turn of the millennium it reached worldwide acclaim again by means of Sikh musicians and the spiritual teacher Shri Chinmoy.

Manufacturer / Supplier

MONOJ KUMAR SARDAR & BROTHERS is a relatively large-scale manufacturer in the heart of Calcutta looking back on a rich tradition of three generations. It is run by four brothers, all of them trained craftsmen specialising in different aspects of instrument making. They mainly make sitars, tanpuras, esrajs, dilrubas, harmoniums and shrutiboxes. But the eldest brother and manager Monoj Kumar will get you every other instrument that is manufactured in India as well. Due to our long-term co-operation with Monoj Kumar Sardar since 1994, we receive instruments with a high quality level in terms of sound, workmanship and materials. Today Monoj Kumar Sardar's quality can well compete with other renowned brands like Hemen and Hiren Roy for string instruments or Pakrashi, Paul and Bina for harmoniums.

Tuning

Esrajs are barely standardized they exist in a range of different sizes and types of stringing. The following information refers to the esrajs offered by India Instruments. The tonic sa is tuned to c the below mentioned Western tone designations refer to that. As with sitars, the tonic may be freely chosen between c and d.

Playing strings:
1. steel 0.30 mm - low ma - f
2. bronze 0.40 mm - low Sa - c
3. bronze 0.55 mm - very low Pa - G
4. steel 0.30 mm - low Pa - g

Sympathetic strings (all bronze or steel 0.30 mm):
1. low ma - f
2. low Pa - g
3. low Dha - a
4. low Ni - b
5. Sa - c'
6. Re - d'
7. Ga - e'
8. ma - f'
9. & 10. Pa - g'
11. Dha - a'
12. Ni - b'
13. high Sa - c''
14. high Re - d''
15. high Ga - e''

The following graph by Brian Godden shows an alternative tuning. The string gauges therein are stated in Anglo-Saxon inches.

Esraj Tuning

Size

Measure: length 97 cm, width 18 cm, depth 14 cm, weight: approx. 2 kg
Each instrument is individually hand-crafted and might differ from our description.