Type: Chordophones > Lutes >
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321
Era: 19th Century
Region: South Asia
Description: The sursingar [in Hindi: सुरसिंगार sursingar] is a large sized fretless lute that emerged from the 19th century. The sursingar is referenced in the Ma’dan al-Musiqi” by Khan, M.K.I 1925:59 This musical instrument was a modified form of the dhrupad rabab. The name “sursinga” is a term, modified from the words “svara”, meaning “note” and srngara meaning “ornament of notes”.
Inayat Khan later known as Sufi or Hazrat Inayat Khan called it a “Sursanghar” in his 1912 “Minqar musiqar”. A smaller but a similar instrument in the Metropolitan Museum, in New York has ben labelled sursanga probably by Tagore.
Muhammad Karam Imam described the instrument as being similar to the sarod. Having metal strings, an upper “tumba” and “like the bin” a “long” lower tumba. There is no mention of a metal plate on the fingerboard, with a wooden face or a wide bridge.
Citations: Bibliography: Ma’dan al-Musiqi” by Khan, M.K.I 1925:59 ; Sitar and Sarod in the 18th and 19th Centuries by Allyn Miner, Vol VII, Page 68 – Performing Arts Series Farley P. Richmond ISBN 978-81-208-1299-4 ;