. A large percentage of the sarangis in circulation within the Kathmandu Valley are our 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 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.