Name: Dotara.

Type: Rebab > Plucked Lute > Chordophone.

Tuning: G C C F/C.

Region: Bengal > Bengladesh > South Asia.

Description: 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 or dramyen.

Origins: 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.

Tuning: 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.

Construction: 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.