Type: Bowed > Chordophone.
Region: Nepal > South East Asia.
Acquisition Source: Ian MacKenzie (Trip to Nepal).
The sarinda is a chordophone of the bowed instrument family. In
Nepal the sarinda is played amongst the gaine cast of the Nawari
people. The role of the gaine cast in Newari culture they are
traditionally "bards and story tellers". The gaine musicians
travel from village to village, they play at various festivals to
busking on the street. The sarinda is played upright by resting
upon the left knee, the right hand controls the bow.
Occasionally the sympathetic strings are plucked with the left hand during performance. Sarinda players often come from a cast called the Gaine who are literally wandering bards that dispense the news and gossip of their local communities. The Nepalese sarinda is closely related to the qamayacha of Rajasthan, such a conclusion could be explained by the migration pattens of the peoples who live there.
Varieties: Numerous different varieties of these musical instruments are found in this region of South Asia due in large part to migration, distribution and geography. In Afghanistan one would encounter a sarinda with multiple sympathetic strings. In Baluchistan one would encounter the qeycheck or zorud. The name qeycheck applies to the instrument on the Iranian side of the border and the name Sorud applies of the same instrument on the Pakistani side of the border. In the state of Gujarat there are related instruments that are direct descendants of the sarinda that bear the same name.
Construction: The Sarinda is skull shaped in its design, this design feature allows for the sound to travel through the animal hide membrane and behave as the sound chamber. The first two strings of the sarinda are often of "packaging wire", or "thin steel wire" with the desired tension for the instrument. The other two strings are sympathetic or "drone" strings, the sometimes though the first and second strings are played. A custom hand made bow is also made for this instrument, although a violin bow can be used as a suited alternative. The neck of the sarinda is quite thick and short.