Type: Rebab > Lute > Chordophone.
Region: Many > India > South Asia.
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.
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.
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.