Versions of electric sitars exist, such as the Danelectro Coral Sitar and some boutique instruments. However, these are more sitar-like than actual sitars. However, there are mixed opinions on whether or not electric sitars can capture all of the sonic qualities of an acoustic sitar.
If you are new to the sitar or are simply in the market for a new one, you have undoubtedly encountered places which sell sitars for very intriguing prices. The old saying, "If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is." definitely applies here. These instruments are often mass-manufactured by companies who specialize in making cheap tourist products for export and absolutely KNOW NOTHING about musical instrument making. These instruments are not intended to be functional; they are really only made to look good enough to sell. Those fancy carvings and penwork etchings act as a sort of "dazzle camouflage," to hide the serious flaws in workmanship that often accompany these instruments. Because the demand for sitars abroad continues to rise, these manufacturers are attempting to profit by cynically selling these instruments to unsuspecting buyers.
The overwhelming majority of sitar students have purchased their instruments from well-known makers, and pay an average of 2-3 times the amount these sitars go for to get an instrument that will be both playable and last at least the first few years of playing. Do not be fooled; there is no such thing as a cheap sitar, and despite the appearance that they are available everywhere, they all come from the same few sources and NO ONE ACTUALLY BUYS THEM. Like violin or cello luthiers, the complexity of making a nice sitar takes years of dedication and practice, not to mention the many, many hours that go into making just one, and makers are going to charge exactly what their instruments are worth.
Generally, you shouldn't. The idea of finding a hidden gem for a great deal is super-compelling. However, unless you're very knowedgeable about sitars, you will be going into such a transaction blind and vulnerable to fraudulent claims or misinformed by an unknowledgeable/naive owner. Structural damage might not be apparent or hidden by cosmetic reairs, the sound may be terrible, and sometimes the sitar can even be a generic sitar relabeled with a famous maker's badge. With no good way to authenticate or inspect the sitar in person, you are setting yourself up for a potential liability. Be very careful, and do your research!
There's nothing wrong with buying a broken sitar to fix up, as long as your goal is to develop luthierie skills or you already have the experience to do that type of work. If you want to learn to play the sitar, buy a new or used working one and get a teacher. Otherwise, you'll be spending copious amounts of your free time working on your broken sitar, and you may never get to the point where you have it set up correctly. And if it's not set up correctly, the cards will most definitely be stacked against you when trying to learn how to play it. Again, just ask yourself what it is about the sitar that appeals to you and where your time will be best spent.
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The sitar is an Indian instrument with a long history. While stories of its origins vary, it most likely originated in the 18th century in northern India as a descendant of similar Persian instruments. Some theories also point to earlier Indian instruments like the veena as precursors to the sitar. The sitar is one of the key melodic instruments in Indian classical music and one of its most recognisable sounds, particularly to Western listeners. Outside India, the sitar was popularised in the 20th century by musician and composer Ravi Shankar, who launched Indian classical music to a global audience during the 1950s and 1960s. He collaborated extensively with Western musicians from various genres, including classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison of the Beatles.
A sitar is a stringed instrument from the lute family. It consists of a pear-shaped body, traditionally made from a calabash gourd, and a long hollow fretted neck, and may also have a secondary resonating chamber at the head. The number of strings varies. A Ravi Shankar style sitar has seven playing strings, four of which are used to play melodies, and a further 13 sympathetic strings. The Vilayat Khan style has six playing strings of which only two are used to play the melody and 11 sympathetic strings, and does not include a secondary resonator. Tuning also differs between the two styles.
Like other instruments, the sitar has evolved in form since it first originated. Classical sitars have wooden fretboards and necks often made from toon wood, gourd bodies and bone or horn bridges. Modern designs may replace the gourd with more wood or the bone with plastic, and are sometimes even made out of more exotic materials like carbon fibre. The sitar is no longer purely an acoustic instrument, either. Electric sitars and acoustic-electric sitars are both available from various manufacturers.
The sitar is far from being the only stringed instrument from India, although it is the one best known elsewhere. Similar Indian classical instruments include the surbahar, which is essentially a bass sitar, and the wide-necked sarod which occupies a similar place to the sitar in northern Indian music but features a fretless fingerboard that makes it possible to slide notes. 041b061a72