Today I received something from India. It is an instrument, and one which requires much study: a sarangi.
A sarangi could be phrased as an Indian violin, but has only 3 strings. My one has only one string though, but that will make it easier for me in the mean time. There is no fretboard (guitar) or fingerboard (violin) so the string or strings stay in tension in the air. When played, the left fingers do not press the strings like pads, but the cuticles or upper nails press/stop the string. Also, the bow is shaped differently; a curvy frame like an archers bow. My sarangi is a little larger than a 30-cm ruler, and is around 10cm wide. It has a little bowl at the bottom, like a mandolin,only smaller. Of course, a peg is at the top to tighten the string. Rosin is necessary also, so I will
use my violin’s.
It sounds quite horrible I must say. Whether that is reliant on the nature of the particular sarangi or whether I just need to improve is a question that my lack of experience with this instrument can not answer. And the rosin improves it only slightly. Something tells me that it should be left as a showpiece as it is not a ‘professional’ sarangi, more like a cheapo version. The bow’s hair is good evidence for this.
I’ll have to see, but for now, let it be.