Name: Dilruba.
Type: Bowed > Fretted > Chordophones.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Country: India.
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 either on the floor or in a chair. While in the chair knees should be close to each other to best support the instrument. The dilruba rests against the players left shoulder. Allowing for greater flexibility and ease of manipulation of the bow when playing. This in turn permits the playing of meend [glissando]. It is played with a bow (known as a “gaz”), with the other hand moving along the strings over the frets. The player may slide the note up or down to achieve the meend [glissando].


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