Tuning Sitar Tarbs

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YoungPanditNS3
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Tuning Sitar Tarbs

Post by YoungPanditNS3 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:29 pm

Hello, I was wondering How to Tune the sypathetics on a sitar,
people say to tune them to the key of the raga, If the raga is in the key ma (f#) does that mean I tune the tarbs to an F# major scale?
also, My instuments 7 main are tuned in c#, is there a sypethetic tuning I can use for just practicing, not playing raga's, just scales and exercises?
Regards,

OM GUY
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Re: Tuning Sitar Tarbs

Post by OM GUY » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:31 am

YoungPanditNS3 wrote:Hello, I was wondering How to Tune the sypathetics on a sitar,
people say to tune them to the key of the raga, If the raga is in the key ma (f#) does that mean I tune the tarbs to an F# major scale?
also, My instuments 7 main are tuned in c#, is there a sypethetic tuning I can use for just practicing, not playing raga's, just scales and exercises?
Regards,
I know what you mean, in that you and I have always heard that, tune it to the raga, etc., with little information on how you do it. I think it stems from the general feeling that the player can tune to the raga in a way that best suits them. Be sure to check out "Rain City Music" under "Sitar Information", where there is a tuning chart for the 13 sympathetics/tarabs, Ravi Shankar style ( C#).

Here is a blurb from the net:


In one or more of the more common tunings (used by Ravi Shankar, among others, called "Kharaj Pancham" Sitar) the strings are different in this fashion: The Chikari, Sa (high) Sa (middle) Pa. The Kharaj strings (bass strings) Sa (low) Pa. Then "jod" and "baaj" string, Sa and Ma.

When playing a Vilayat Khan Sitar (or "Gandhar Pancham" Sitar), the bass or "kharaj" strings are removed and in their place is a 4th Chikari which is tuned to Ga, when playing the chikari you produce a chord (Sa, Sa, Pa, Ga). The sympathetic strings (tarif) are tuned depending on the raga, although for most purposes, they are tuned: Sa, Ni, Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Pa, Dha, Ni, Sa, Re, Ga, (last three in the upper range).

If you were to tune it to rag Kafi for example you use tune as follows: Sa, ni (lower case denotes flat or, more properly, "komal") Sa, Re, ga, Ga (Shuddh ("natural"), considering that in Kafi you will come to Shuddh Ga when descending or "avarohi"), ma, Pa, Dha, ni, Sa, Re, ga.

Whereas, in ragini Yaman Kaylan you will tune the Tarifs to Sa, Ni, Sa, Re, Ga, ma (Yaman Kaylan asks for a sharp, or more properly, "tivra" Ma, but often will touch shuddh ma on the descent or "avarohi"), Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni, Sa, Re, Ga. Again, however, there is a lot of stylistic variance to these tunings. An artist will develop a particular tuning for a particular piece and it may be totally idiosyncratic. There is no guarantee that other musicians will choose the same tuning even if they perform the same raga.


Try looking on you tube, there may also be some more videos/ instruction there to help you than the one here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcHPpL ... Wkrvzp1HPg
Let's hope 2016 is less violent and that people discover the soothing influence of ICM. Hari OM!

YoungPanditNS3
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: Tuning Sitar Tarbs

Post by YoungPanditNS3 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:38 pm

thank you!

YoungPanditNS3
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: Tuning Sitar Tarbs

Post by YoungPanditNS3 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:58 pm

OM guy! would you be able to post a video with the tuning of the 7 main on you khan sitar? I have one very similar to yours,
regards!

OM GUY
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Re: Tuning Sitar Tarbs

Post by OM GUY » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:01 am

YoungPanditNS3 wrote:OM guy! would you be able to post a video with the tuning of the 7 main on your khan sitar? I have one very similar to yours,
regards!
I'm sorry YPN53, all of my sitars are KP's, Pandit Shankar style & mains, 13 symps. :wink:
Let's hope 2016 is less violent and that people discover the soothing influence of ICM. Hari OM!

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povster
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Re: Tuning Sitar Tarbs

Post by povster » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:03 am

OM GUY wrote:
Here is a blurb from the net:[/color]

When playing a Vilayat Khan Sitar (or "Gandhar Pancham" Sitar), the bass or "kharaj" strings are removed and in their place is a 4th Chikari which is tuned to Ga, when playing the chikari you produce a chord (Sa, Sa, Pa, Ga). The sympathetic strings (tarif) are tuned depending on the raga, although for most purposes, they are tuned: Sa, Ni, Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Pa, Dha, Ni, Sa, Re, Ga, (last three in the upper range).
That blurb doesn't sound right to me. First, the 4th chikari is not always tuned to gha, even though it is called a Ghandar/Pancham sitar. Some ragas do not want the gha to be so forceful. So the fourth chikari will usually be tuned to gha, ma, or pa based on the raga's requirements.

Also as regards the sympathetics, the first sympathetic on a Ghandar/Pancham (aka Vilayat Khan style) is usually tuned to Ni (shuddha or komal based on the raga). This allow those nice contrasts of plucking the ni with the fretting hand pinkie.
...Michael
Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM

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povster
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Re: Tuning Sitar Tarbs

Post by povster » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:10 am

Also as just a general rule for tuning the tarafs on the sitar, you need to take into consideration your own instrument.

You DO want at least one taraf string tuned to each note on the scale of the particular raga, including both ascending and descending scales. Hit a minimum of the upper Sa. Then you need to determine which tarafs to double up on or extend the pitch of. This can be dictated by the response of the individual instrument. If you have, for example, a strong pa response from just one Pa taraf, but a weak response from, say, the Gha taraf, then double up on the Gha. If your instrument's tarafs respond well in the higher registers add a high Re and even a high Gha to the taraf tuning.

It will ultimately depend on both the taraf response of the instrument and how many tarafs you have. Usually it will be 11, 12 or 13 tarafs. So with a raga that has seven basic notes you have either 4, 5 or 6 extra tarafs to double up on and/or go for the Re or Gha higher pitches.
...Michael
Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM

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