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sitar (sĭtärˈ), fretted string instrument with a gourdlike body and a long neck, similar to the lute. It has from 3 to 7 gut strings, tuned in fourths or fifths (or both), and a lower course of 12 wire strings that vibrate sympathetically with the first set. It is played alone or in a small ensemble. Indigenous to the India subcontinent, the sitar was popularized in the West in the 1960s by the Indian virtuoso Ravi Shankar and is sometimes used in rock music.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a stringed musical instrument. The sitar has a wooden convex body, a long neck with 16 to 18 movable frets, and three melody strings and up to ten sympathetic strings. The strings are tuned in fourths and fifths. The sitar is native to India, where it is a plucked instrument, and Uzbekistan and Tadzhik-istan, where it is often bowed as well as plucked. [23–1426–]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a stringed musical instrument, esp of India, having a long neck, a rounded body, and movable frets. The main strings, three to seven in number, overlie other sympathetic strings, the tuning depending on the raga being performed
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The book provides a detailed explanation of the meaning of music, the place of the sitar in Indian classical music, including sitar gharanas, ragas, rasas, rhythm and different sitar playing styles of renowned ustaads.
Described as the "legend of legends" by Shivkumar Sharma, a noted santoor player, Ravi Shankar played a valuable role in universalizing music of the subcontinent to the world through the instrument of sitar.
He also used the sitar on Indianinspired song Within You Without You on Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, drawing increasing attention to Shankar and his work.
David Crosby - whose band The Byrds were inspired by the sitar star - said: "Any player on any instrument with any ears would be deeply moved by Ravi Shankar.
There are obvious technical similarities between the two musics, and sometimes Shankar plays the sitar like a guitar, fast and sharp.
GIFTED sitar player Anoushka Shankar is following in the footsteps of her famous father.
THE daughter of legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar returns to Birmingham Town Hall on Monday with her new acoustic project, Sudakshini.
The event at the FICCI auditorium started off with the guest of honour, Asha Bhosale, lighting the ceremonial lamp along with the legendary sitar player's musical heir, Shujaat Khan, and flautist Hari Prasad Chaurasia.
Summary: Ustad Shahid Pervez Khan, the sitar maestro and one of the leading exponents of the etawah gharana, will perform in Dubai on June 20 as part of the summer festivities during Dubai Summer Surprises 2008.
in the late 1960s, it had been vilified as a leading cause of social unrest, sitar music, black-light posters, and worse.
It will feature violinist Kala Ramnath and sitar player Purbayan Chaterjee, alongside Akram Khan on the tabla.
Sitar maestro Shalil Shankar was making what has now become his annual January visit to Birmingham from his home town of Emmental in Switzerland.