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The Sārangī (Hindi: सारंगी, Punjabi: ਸਰੰਗੀ, sarangī) is a bowed, short-necked string instrument of India which is originated from Rajasthani folk instruments. It plays an important role in India's Hindustani classical music tradition. Of all Indian instruments, it is said to most resemble the sound of the human voice – able to imitate vocal ornaments such as gamakas (shakes) and meend (sliding movements). It is also said to be the hardest Indian instrument to master.



Surjeet Singh tuning his Sarangi

The word sarangi is derived from two Hindi words: sau (meaning "hundred") and rang (meaning "colour"). This is because the sound of the sarangi is said to be as expressive and evocative as a hundred colours. Its origins are unknown, however most people believe that it became a mainstream instrument in the mid 18th Century. Notoriously difficult to play and tune, the sarangi has traditionally been used primarily for accompanying singers (shadowing the vocalist's improvisations),in recent times it has become recognised as a solo instrument by the efforts of Ram Narayan and Sabri Khan. Other current celebrated performers include Sultan Khan, Kamal Sabri, Dhruba Ghosh and Aruna Narayan Kalle, while eminent maestros of the past have included Bundu Khan, Nathu Khan, Sagiruddin Khan, Gopal Mishra and Shakoor Khan.

The repertoire of sarangi players is traditionally very closely related to vocal music. Nevertheless, a concert with a solo sarangi as the main item will probably include a full-scale raga presentation with an extensive alap (the unmeasured improvisatory development of the raga) in increasing intensity (alap-jor-jhala) and several compositions in increasing tempi. As such, it is on a par with other instrumental styles such as for sitar, sarod, and bansuri. This full-fledged raga development has its roots in the Dhrupad style of raga presentation.

Sarangi music is often vocal music. It is rare to find a sarangi player who does not know the words of many classical compositions. The words are usually mentally present during performance, and performance almost always adheres to the conventions of vocal performance including the organisational structure, the types of elaboration, the tempo, the relationship between sound and silence, and the presentation of khyal and thumri compositions. The vocal quality of sarangi is in a quite separate category from, for instance, the so-called gayaki-ang of sitar which attempts to imitate the nuances of khyal while overall conforming to the structures and usually keeping to the gat compositions of instrumental music. (A gat is a composition set to a cyclic rhythm.)

The sarangi is also a traditional stringed musical instrument of Nepal, commonly played by the Gaine or Gandarbha ethnic group.


A lying sarangi

Carved from a single block of wood, the sarangi has a box-like shape, usually around two feet long and around half a foot wide. The lower resonance chamber is made from a hollowed-out block of tun (red cedar) wood and covered with parchment and a decorated strip of leather at the waist which supports the elephant-shaped bridge. The bridge in turn supports the huge pressure of approximately 40 strings. Three of the strings – the comparatively thick, tight and short ones – are bowed with a heavy horsehair bow and "stopped" not with the finger-tips but with the nails, cuticles and surrounding flesh (talcum powder is applied to the fingers as a lubricant). The remaining strings are resonance strings or tarabs (see: sympathetic strings), numbering up to around 35, divided into 4 different "choirs". On the lowest level are a diatonic row of 9 tarabs and a chromatic row of 15 tarabs, each encompassing a full octave plus 1–3 extra notes above or below. Between these lower tarabs and the main playing strings lie two more sets of longer tarabs, which pass over a small flat ivory bridge at the top of the instrument. These are tuned to the important tones (swaras) of the raga. A properly tuned sarangi will hum and buzz like a bee-hive, with tones played on any of the main strings eliciting echo-like resonances. A few sarangis use strings manufactured from the intestines of goats - these harken back to the days when rich musicians could afford such i know you

Sarangi players

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Instruments Dhimay - Bhusyah - Madal - Sarangi - Damfoo - Dholak - Chyambrung - Bansuri
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National anthem "Sayaun Thunga Phool Ka"

In India and Pakistan

  • Navdip Singh Paras
  • Chamkaur Singh Jalalabadi
  • Abdul Latif Khan
  • Ahmed Khan (musician)
  • Aruna Narayan Kalle
  • Datararra Kazino
  • Dattaramji Parwatkar
  • Deepak Paramashivan (Bangalore)
  • Dhruba Ghosh
  • Farukh Latif Khan
  • Faiyaz Khan (Bangalore)
  • Ghulam Sabir Khan (Ambalewale)
  • Ghulam Farid
  • Gopal Mishra
  • Harsh Narayan
  • Ikram Khan
  • Kamal Sabri
  • Khalifa Hafizullah Khan
  • Mouddin Khan
  • M.A. Banne
  • Murad Ali
  • Ram Narayan
  • Vasanti Shrikhande
  • Rafiq Ahmed Khan
  • Ramesh Mishra
  • Sabri Khan
  • Sarwar Hussain
  • Shakur Khan
  • Sultan Khan
  • Vinod Pawar
  • Sabir khan
  • Abubakar Javed
  • Dilshad khan
  • Dr Taimur Khan
  • Bundoo Khan
  • Nathoo Khan
  • Umrao Khan
  • Ghulam Mohammad
  • Nazim Ali Khan
  • Hamid Hussain Khan
  • Khawar Hussain
  • Sharfuddin Khan
  • Piroo Khan
  • Mubarik Ali Khan
  • Nabi Bakhsh
  • Zohaib Hassan Khan
  • Zahoori Khan
  • Allah Rakha Khan
  • Abdul Wahab Ch.

In Nepal

A bamboo sarangi from Nepal
  • Parashuram Bhandari
  • Jhalak Man Gandarbha
  • Khim Bahadur Gandarba
  • Tirtha Bahadur Gandarbha
  • Hari Sharan Nepali
  • Shyam Nepal
  • Hiralal Gandarbha
  • Rubin Gandarbha
  • Diwas Magar
  • Honimaya Gandharba (from Prabash, Palpa)


  • Surjeet Singh
  • Surinder Sandhu (Disciple of Ustad Sabri Khan)
  • Harjider Singh Matharu (Disciple Of Ustad Sabri Khan and Kamal Sabri)

Sarangi Makers

  • Masita (meerut)
  • Behra (meerut)
  • Rajesh Dhawan (meerut)
  • Raj Musicals (New Delhi)

Modern performers who have used sarangi in compositions

See also


External links

Three historic sarangi from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sârangî — Sarangi Le sarangi (en hindi सारंगी) est une vièle rustique rencontrée en Inde, au Pakistan et au Népal. Sarangi (prononcez sarangui) est du genre féminin puisqu’il se termine en i, mais le français l’emploie au masculin. L’origine du nom vient… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sarangi — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Un sarangi en 2007 …   Wikipedia Español

  • sarangi — ● sarangi ou sarangui nom masculin Violon indien sur lequel une peau tendue tient lieu de table d harmonie. sarangi [saʀɑ̃ŋgi] n. m. ÉTYM. Av. 1961; mot hindi, sanskrit sāraṅgī . ❖ ♦ Instrument de musique à archet de l Inde du Nord, à trois ou… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Sarangi — Kolorierte Zeichnung eines bengalischen Sarangi Spielers von François Balthazar Solvyns. Erstmals veröffentlicht 1796[1] Die Sarangi (persisch ‏سرانگى ‎) ist das am weitesten verbreitete, einheimische Streichinstrument in Nordindien …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sarangi — Le sarangi (en hindi सारंगी) est une vièle rustique rencontrée en Inde, au Pakistan et au Népal. Sarangi est du genre féminin puisqu’il se termine en i, mais le français l’emploie au masculin. L’origine du nom vient du sanskrit sau (cent) et rang …   Wikipédia en Français

  • sarangi — /sahr euhng gee/, n. (in India) a violinlike instrument used to accompany classical dancing. [1850 55; < Skt sarangi] * * * ▪ musical instrument also called  saran  or  saranga     short necked fiddle used throughout South Asia, particularly for… …   Universalium

  • Sarangi — Sarạngi   [Sanskrit] die, / s, gestrichene Kurzhalsfiedel in Nord und Südindien, mit Schallkörper und breitem Hals aus einem einzigen Stück Holz und einer Hautdecke mit seitlich eingezogenem Umriss. Die Sarangi hat in der Regel drei Darmsaiten… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • sarangi — [sə raŋgi, sα: rʌŋgi] noun (plural sarangis) an Indian stringed instrument played with a bow. Origin from Hindi sāraṅgī …   English new terms dictionary

  • sarangi — n. (pl. sarangis) an Indian stringed instrument played with a bow. Etymology: Hindi sarangi …   Useful english dictionary

  • sarangi — noun a bowed string instrument used in the Hindustani classical music of North India …   Wiktionary

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