Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A basic guide to sarangi making

. 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 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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