Type: Chordophones > Waisted > Fretted > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Region: South Asia.
Description: The tar-shehnai, tarshenai or tar shehanai is an a modified esraj. The amplification is achieved by a metal horn to the sound board. Sometimes the horn of a phonograph has been used. The sound of the tar-shenai is amplified by a metal horn attached to its sound board. The term is also used to refer to the horn itself. The instrument sounds similar to a violin or to a shehnai.
It is sometimes used instead of a shehnai when no shehnai player is available. A tar shehnai played by Daksinaranjan Tagore is used in Satyajit Ray’s film Pather Panchali to accompany the scene in which Harihar and Sarbajaya weep over the death of their daughter Durga. Ray considered Tagore “one of [the instrument’s] best exponents”, and found its high, “piercing” sound “suggestive of grief”.