Type: Rebab > Plucked Lute > Chordophone.
Tuning: G C C F/C.
Region: Bengal > Bengladesh > South Asia.
The dotara (or dotar) (Bengali: দোতারা) is a two or
four or some times five stringed musical instrument. It is commonly used
in Assam, Bangladesh, West Bengal & Bihar, and dates from the
15th-16th century when it was adopted by the ascetic cults of Bauls and
Fakirs. Although this instrument shares the same name as the long necked
Central Asian dotar, these two are not related it is however a member of
the plucked rebab family of musical instruments such as the sarod, rebab
Considered to be one of the most important musical
instruments in various genres of folk music through out Bengal. It has
two main forms, the bangla and the bhawaiya. The bangla form originated
in the Rahr Bangla region, where it is still predominantly played. It
has metal strings, which give it a brighter tone than other instruments
played in the area.
The tuning for the dotara could be Pa Sa Sa Ma with Do/Sa
being the root of the song. The Indian notation reads its equivalent in
Western equivalent as G C C F/C.
It is a member of the “rebab” family of musical
instruments having a membrane stretched over its body in a similar
fashion some what resembling a sarod. The body however is tapered and
stretched out much thinner then a sarod or rebab. Two to five strings
are added. The necks on these instruments are fretless. Friction tuning
pegs are installed at the head stock.