• Patan dhoka, Lalitpur, Nepal



    On 22 September, the research team for the Music on the move initiative visited the town of Banepa, some 30 kilometres away from Kathmandu, to meet Ram Manandhar at his woodwork shop. In addition to making furniture, which is his main form of livelihood, Manandhar is also a skilled sarangi maker. A large percentage of the sarangis in circulation within the Kathmandu Valley are his creations. Below is a basic summary of the materials and measurements involved in the making of a sarangi. This is the first in a series of articles to appear on the sarangi’s organology.

    Parts of a whole
    The sarangi has a total of six parts or divisions. The measurments of the specific parts in the piece made for the team are as follows.
    The knot = 3 inches
    The bridge = 1/2 inches
    The neck = 3.25 inches
    The hollow section = 5.5 inches
    The stand = 2.1 inches
    The skin = 3.2 inches

    (Visit the gallery to see pcitures of the different parts of the sarangi)

    The dimensions of the sarangi depends on the its scale and range capabilities. The A-B-C-D range sarangi has a neck length of  3.25 inchs and a bridge of 1/2 inches. Meanwhile, the E-F-G range sarangi has a neck length of 4.15 inches and a bridge of 2.15 inches.

    The string used can be of a variety of kinds including telephone wire, guitar strings, monkey gut and cycle gear wire.

    The bow

    The steps to making the bow of the sarangi are as follows:

    –          Cut the  bamboo to a length of about 18-19 inches
    –          Make small holes on both ends with a drilling machine.
    –          The plant Kyaktuke is used – though nylon is an increasingly popular option –
    to tie onto the bow (The Kyaktuke threads are softened by soaking in water for one hour and then tied onto the bow on both ends.)
    –      The bamboo piece is curved
    –      The skin to cover the hollow part  is soaked in water for about 7-8 hours, till it softens. It is then rubbed on a rough surface by hand and pasted onto the instrument  with glue.
    –      The bridge and string stand are mounted before adjusting the four strings of the sarangi.



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