Name: Sarinda.
Type: Chordophones > Lyres > Double > Chested.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.71
Specimen: My specimen is from Nepal.
Country: India, Nepal, Pakistan & Iran.
Region: South Asia & Middle East.

Description: The sarinda [in Nepalese: सरिंडा sarinda] as its various local analogues are played throughout South Asian continent. Primarily in the regions of Afghanistan, Punjab, in Rajasthan the sarinda is only played by the Surnaiya Langas. In Nepal the sarinda is played by the Gaine Caste of minstrel musicians. The sarinda is found in neighbouring Gujarat and in Assam under the name sareja and in Sindh and Bangladesh in the form the chikari sarinda.

Etymology: The name sarinda is attested in the following languages. In Gujarati: [સિરીંડા Sirīṇḍā] in Punjabi [ਸਿਰਿੰਡਾ Gurmukhi; Sarinda] ] in Marathi: [सिरींडा Sarinda] in Baluch: [ ] In Pashto; [سریندا Sarinda] in Sindh [سڏيڊا Sirinda] in Urdu: [سورینڈو Sorundo] or sorud سوراخ, or sorud سورج].

Sarinda, India @ South Asia Exhibit British Museum, London UK

Varieties: North Eastern India [Assam] the name bannam or sareja are used for an identically shaped musical instruments. In Afghanistan this instrument is primarily played by the Pashtun and Balochi peoples. In Western Rajasthan the sarinda is only played by the Surnaiya Langas. It is played in accompaniment to aerophones mainly flutes or reed instruments [pungi].

In Nepal the sarinda is played by Nepalese men of the low-status Gaine caste. Gaine are wondering minstrels for whom the sarinda is a marker of identity. Up until the 20th century Gaines functioned as ‘singing newspapers’. Their repertoire provides stories, myths and daily news that is now delivered through mass media. Their repertoires are large and the songs performed today fall into two general categories. Songs and styles influenced by Indian and Western popular music. And folk songs performed in ragas. 

Construction: It is made of sheesham wood [Dalbergia sissoo] or other materials as shown in the photo above. The 19th century specimen of this instrument is entirely carved from bone. The sarinda may four to eight strings. Parchment is stretched across the sound whole at the front of the instrument. Eight individual strings pass over the bridge. 

Citations: Bibliography: Stanley Sadie – New Grove Dictionary Of Music, Page 297, 298; W. Ousley: Anecdotes of Indian Music, repr. in S.M. Tagore: Hindu Music from Various Authors, Calcutta, 1875 2/1882/R1965: C. R. Day; The Music and Musical Instruments of Southern India and the Deccan [Dheli, 1891 / R11977]; Curt Sash C. Die Musikinstrument Indiens and Indonesians / in English: The Musical Instruments of Indians and Indonesians [Berlin & Leipzig Germany, 1914, 2 / 1923]; K. S Kothari; Indian Folk Musical Instruments [New Dheli, 1968] – John Baily, Alastair Dick ; Grinnell College ~ Musical Instrument Collection / Gaine Sarinda ;



Name: Chikari Sarinda.
Type: Chordophones > Lyres > Double > Chested > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.21.71
Country: Bengal, India & Bangladesh.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The Chikari sarinda [in Bangla; চিকারী সরিন্দা] is a Bengali variety of the saranghi / sarinda sub-groups of bowed chordophones. It has three gut strings and five sympathetic strings. It is held by the left hand while resting against the arm.

Playing techniques: The musician plays it in a manner similar to the Ravanahatha although they are bowed instruments in them selves, they are not related to one another.



Name: Qobuz.
Type: Chordophones > Lyres > Double > Chested > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.21.71
Country: Kazakhstan & Turkestan [Xinjiang China].
Region: Central Asia.

Description: The Qobuz [in Kazakh Cyrillic: қобыз] or qıl-qobız. The origins of this instrument are ancient. Traditionally they [Qobuz] were sacred instruments, owned by shamans and bakses who were traditional spiritual medics. According to legends, the qobuz and its music could banish evil spirits, sicknesses and death.

Development: In the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan, during the 1930’s. Development of the Qopuz occurred in a form some what resembling a violin. In construction, appearance range and tuning. Four metal strings were added.

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: Kurmangazy Kazakh State Academic Orchestra [archived website] ;

Dhodro Banam

Name: Dhodro Banam.
Type: Chordophones > Lyres > Double > Chested > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.21.71
Country: India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The single-stringed dhodro Banam comes from the Indigenous Santal tribal community of Central India. It is found particularly in Orissa. The Phet Banam is a recent development of the dhodro banam although having three to four strings. The Phet banam closely resembles the Nepalese Sarinda although it has a narrow body and wider chest cavities [sound holes].

Construction: The modern form called the Phet Banam and wide “chest cavities” functioning as a sound hole. The neck and body are carved from a single piece of wood. Both the dhodro banam and phet banam have a membrane usually of animal hide stretched over the sound cavity.

Citations: Bibliography: Curt Sachs – Die Musikinstrumente Indiens und Indonesiens, Berlin & Leipzig, 1923 ; Shirali, Vishnudass Sargam. An Introduction to Indian Music. New Delhi, 1977 ; Chattopadhyaya, Kamaladevi. Tribalism in India. New Delhi, 1978 ; Prasad, Onkar. Santal Music. New Delhi, 1985 ; <strong>Websites:</strong> [The Met:  Dhodro Banam photos] ; The Lutes of the Santal by Bengt Fosshag ; Dhodro Banam Performance  [Youtube] ;


Name: Saranghi.
Type: Chordophones > Lute > Waisted > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Country: India, Pakistan, Nepal & Bangladesh.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The saranghi [in Punjabi: ਸਾਰੰਗੀ Gurmukhi; Nepali: सारङ्गी; Hindi: सारंगी; Urdu: سارنگی] is a bowed, short-necked string instrument from the Indian subcontinent, which is used in Punjabi dhadi music and Hindustani classical music. It is said to most resemble the sound of the human voice – able to imitate vocal ornaments such as gamaks [shakes] and meends. Meends are apart of a series of playing techniques that denote sliding movements in equivalent to a glissando.

Saranghi, Rebab and Guinbri @ Horniman Museum, London, UK

Etymology: Some musicians hold to the view, the sarangi is a combination of two words, “seh” being the Persian equivalent to the number three and “rangi” in Persian meaning “coloured”. The two words became one word in time denoting the name of the instrument. The etymology is that the sarangi is derived from “sol rang” [a hundred colours” indicating its versatility to play numerous different styles of vocal music and its ability to produce a large palette of tonal colour and emotional nuance.

Playing Techniques: The saranghi is played with a bow that is tied with heavy horse hair. Unlike a cello the the saranghi player where the finger presses directly onto the fingerboard. The saranghi player utilizes his fingernail. His fingernail is vertically parallel to the playing inline with the cuticle. Talcum powder is applied to the fingers as a lubricant. The neck has ivory or bone platforms on which the fingers slide.

Construction: The saranghi is hand carved from a single block of tun [Red Cedar or Toona ciliata] wood, the saranghi has a box-like shape with three hollow chambers: pet the [stomach], chaati [chest] and magaj [brain]. It is usually around 0.61 m or 2 feet long and around 150 mm or 6 inches wide. There are smaller and larger sizes and dimensions of body

The lower resonance chamber or pet is covered with a membrane that is from a parchment of goat-skin. The membrane is held into place a by a cut piece of thick leather nailed, that is nailed onto the back of the chamber.

This assembly supports the distribution load of the elephant-shaped bridge that is made of camel or buffalo bone, it is no longer made with ivory Barasingha bone, as it is banned in India. The bridge in turn supports the huge pressure of approximately 35-37 sympathetic steel or brass strings. The three playing strings are made of animal gut.

The Sympathetic Strings: divided into 4 choirs having two sets of pegs, one on the right and one on the top. On the inside is a chromatically tuned row of 15 tarabs and on the right a diatonic row of 9 tarabs each encompassing a full octave. Plus 1–3 extra surrounding notes above or below the octave. Both these sets of tarabs pass from the main bridge to the right side set of pegs through small holes in the chaati supported by hollow ivory or bone beads.

Between these inner tarabs and on either side of the main playing strings lie two more sets of longer tarabs, with 5–6 strings on the right set and 6–7 strings on the left set. They pass from the main bridge over to two small, flat, wide, table-like bridges through the additional bridge towards the second peg set on top of the instrument.

Divided into 4 choirs having two sets of pegs, one on the right and one on the top. On the inside is a chromatically tuned row of 15 tarabs and on the right a diatonic row of 9 tarabs each encompassing a full octave.

Citations: Bibliography: Bor, Joep, 1987: “The Voice of the Sarangi”, comprising National Centre for the Performing Arts Quarterly Journal 15 [3–4], December 1986 and March 1987 [special combined issue], Bombay: NCPA Magriel, Nicolas, 1991 Sarangi Style in North Indian Music [unpublished Ph.D. thesis], London: University of London Qureshi, Regula Burckhardt, 1997: “The Indian Sarangi: Sound of Affect, Site of Contest”, Yearbook for Traditional Music, pp. 1–38 orrell, Neil with Ram Narayan, 1980: Indian Music in Performance, Bolton: Manchester University Press

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