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Construction

The Sitar is one of the most popular melody instruments in classic North Indian musical tradition. Together with the surbahar and the tanpura it belongs to the family of the long-necked lutes. Its sound box is made of a pumpkin while the sound board and neck are made of timber (most common is toon wood, an Indian subspecies of teak wood). Two curved bridges made of bone or horn (or plastic nowadays) have steel and bronze strings running over them. The frets are tied movable to the neck and are made of nickel silver. Most sitars are decorated with inlays of celluloid and lavish carvings.

Styles

Modern sitars can be classified in two categories according to their structure, design and setup -  each used to play a different style of music.

RAVI SHANKAR STYLE SITAR / Kharaj Pancham

Instruments in the 'Ravi Shankar style', also called kharaj pancham sitars, have two sound boxes and rich ornamentation. They are usually equipped with 13 sympathetic strings, three drone strings (chikari) and four melody strings with a range of four octaves.

VILAYAT KHAN STYLE SITAR / Gandhar Pancham
    
Sitars in the 'Vilayat Khan style', also called gandhar pancham sitars,  have only one sound-box and a rather chaste ornamentation. They are mostly equipped with 11 sympathetic strings, four drone strings (chikari) and two melody strings with a range of three octaves.

INDIA INSTRUMENTS offers sitars from leading Indian instrument makers. Our sitars are hand-made individual pieces rather than industrially mass-produced articles. You can choose from a large variety of different models and sound philosophies. We also provide custom-made sitars according to your individual specifications, e.g. left-handed sitars.

To start playing, beginners can obtain fully decorated standard sitars for 450.- Euros or brand-named sitars with simple decoration for 690.- Euros.

Our full deco sitars for 990,- Euros are tailor-made for committed hobby musicians as well as for professionals. These sitars are finished with greater care, better materials, more lavish decoration and better sound than the cheaper instruments.

For the higher demands to tonal quality, reliability, design, and precision we recommend our full deco deluxe instruments for 1290.- Euros.  

Sitars in Vilayat Khan style with their plain decoration are available from 790.- Euros onwards.

A category of its own are the sitars made by Hiren Roy. Here, the best of materials adorned with elegant ornamentation and a high functionality are made into master pieces of traditional instrument making with topmost sound quality.