In North India, Sitar has a more important place than Veena. It is one of the famous stringed instruments. Amir Kusru is the first person who has introduced this. He removed the Yazhi head in veena and made some alterations in it. It is also called ‘Nibhatha Tambura’. It is said that its name comes from ‘Sehtar’. Seh means Three; Tar-means string.
Gourds are used for making the Kudam of the Sitar. The base will be semi-circular. If it is flat at the base it is called Kachchuva Sitar. The other end is pasted to the neck portion. A long stem of wood called Dandi is attached to the neck portion Frets made up of bronze or metal are seen over the dandi. A secondary resonator is seen on the other side of the dandi. Five regular strings and two sruthi strings pass over the bridge attached to Kudam.
The strings are made up of copper or bronze. The index finger and the middle finger of the left hand are used for playing (Press the string). The Index finger and middle finger of the right hand are used to pluck the string. Sometimes some use a clip like material called ‘Meeti’ to pluck.
The 2 sruthi strings are called Shikari’. The names of 5 regular strings: 1) Mandra sthayi Madyamam 2) (Jodi ka Tar) Mandra sthayi Shadjam 3) (Jodi-ka-Tar) Mantra sthayi Shatjam 4) (Pancham-Ka-Tar) Anu Mantra Panchamam 5) (Pancham-Ka-Tar) Mantra sthayi Panchamam.
Below these five strings, there are 11 to 17 sympathetic vibration strings called ‘Tarap’ and Shikari strings pass over a small bridge and over the fingerboard. The bridges of Sitar are made up of bone or deer’s horn or wood. Frets are seen below the regular strings and above the ‘Tarap’ strings on Dandi. They are attached to the dandi by threads. They are moveable. The Sitar with movable frets types is called Saldat. Generally, there are 19 frets. 9 to 10 frets in one Sthayi. The frets will be changed according to the raga- when raga changes the places of frets also changes.