Type: Chordophones > Waisted > Fretted > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Region: South Asia.
Description: The dilruba is a relatively young instrument. Having a history of only 300 years. It is found in North India primarily in the Punjab. It is played in Sikh religious music and Hindustani classical music and also played in West Bengal. By the 1980s this instrument was nearly extinct. However with the rising influence of the “Gurmat Sangeet” movement, the instrument has been attracting attention.
The dilruba is played with the bow but has a neck with moveable tied frets. Animal hide is stretched over the body to complete the resonance chamber. The bridge rests over the top of the goat skin membrane. Having 12–15 sympathetic strings underneath the playing strings. Machine gear tuners are installed to the right side of the instrument.
Playing Techniques: The instrument can be rested between the knees while the player kneels. Or more commonly rested on the knee of the player while sitting. Or also on the floor just in front of the player, with the neck leaning on the left shoulder. It is played with a bow [also called a “gaz”] while the fingering performed is done with the left hand. The player may slide the note up or down to achieve the meend [glissando].
Citations: Bibliography: Dutta, Madhumita 2008 Let’s Know Music and Musical Instruments of India. Star Publications. pp. 22–23. ISBN 978-1-905863-29-7 ;