Harmonies from the homeland
Making music the sitar
The musician sits cross-legged. A sitar is cradled against his knee. His left hand begins to move over the strings. At first they go slowly, then faster and faster. On his right forefinger the ,man wears a pointed plectrum, which he used for plucking the strings. His left hand moves up and down the fingerboard, bending the strings to make a shining sound. the haunting music of the Indian sitar is famous throughout the world. The instrument is made of teak wood, and a seasoned gourd, the dried shell of a large fruit. It has seven main strings which are plucked, and thirteen others which provide a musical resonance to the main strings.
Balaswami Dikshitar (1786-1858), younger brother of Muthuswami Dikshitar, was amon the first Indians to learn to play the violiin, which he then adapted to Karnatak music.
In Karnatak music, three great composers, Thyagaraja (1767 -1847) , Muthuswami Dikshitar ( 1776-1835) and syama Sastri (1762-1827) are called the three jewels of music.The kriti or composition in a raga, acquired new forms, whereas javali, a love song and tillana, similar to tarana of the north, were introduced at this time. Svati tirunal (1813-1846), the maharaja of travancore, was a great patron of music.
In north India, there were new forms of Hindustani music,such as Ghazal and Tarana. At the same time the system of gharanas has come into being.In this system, each musician preserved his knowledge and taught it only to his children or his special disciples.