Name: Sarode

Type: Rebab > Lute > Chordophone.

Region: Many > India > South Asia.


Description: The sarod or sarode (सरोद) is a fretless plucked lute, one of the many chordophones present in Indian Classical Music. The sarode has a distinct tone in depth in direct contrast to the sitar. As a fretless instrument musicians can perform perfect uninterrupted meends (glissandi) being an important aspect in Indian classical music. Primarily used in Hindustani music. The sarode is second in popularity to the sitar among musicians.

Origins: The sarode we see today evolved from the original rebab introduced into India during the 17th century. A court musician Gulam Ali Khan Bangash in Gwalior is responsible for much of the transformation that the sarode went through. A parallel but credible theory credits descendants of Madar Khan (1701-1748), and Niyamatullah Khan in particular, with the same innovation circa 1820. It is possible that Ghulam Ali Khan and Niyamatullah Khan came to the similar design propositions either independently or in unacknowledged collaboration. When the sarode started to gain recognition as a serious instrument in Rewa, Shahjahanpur, Gwalior and Lucknow. In the twentieth century, the Sarode received some finishing touches from Allauddin Khan, the performer-pedagogue from Maihar best known as Ravi Shankar's and Ali Akbar Khan's guru.

Construction: The body of the sarode is distinct in shape and has a membrane stretched over the skin. As the construction directly influenced from the Afghani rebab. The body of the sarode is carved from teak although originally of tun (Indian Mahogany). The current design of the sarode has a total of 18 to 19 strings. Six friction tuning pegs are inserted into the peg box and two chikari (drone) strings. Two chikari (drone) strings which are added in parallel to the playing strings. Amjad Ali Khan uses 11 sympathetic strings and Bhuddadev uses 15 strings. The bridge (Jawara) of the sarode is moveable but due to the tension of the strings they tend to stay fixed in place.