Sitar an Indian Inventions

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A thread by Aabhas Maldahiyar 🇮🇳

n Farah Ji. My Sadar Pranam to God within you. I’m sorry, you are absolutely wrong. Islam may have other contributions but not Sitar. It has history tracing to Ancient India. Read Below👇🏼cc @sankrant @Sanjay_Dixit @ShefVaidya @RituRathaurFarah Khan@FaraaahKhan

Did you know 1 of the many contributions of #Islam is SITAR, the eminent instrument of Indian Classical Music?

We r all part of the bigger culture, i.e. history, blended in each other wd unity.
Remembering Pt. Ravi Shankar this #mondaymorning!🙏#MondayMotivation #DYK@iamrana

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30Twitter Ads info and privacy225 people are talking about thisn The Sitar occupies a place of pride among Indian musical instruments. The Sitar was known in ancient India by various names like devadattaa, maruyashti, mahati, parivaadini, saptatantri etc.
The origin of the Sitar is lost in antiquity.

n Though its origin is generally attributed to Amir Khusro, and is one of the most ancient Indian instruments. Amir Khusro is credited with making the Sitar by fixing three strings to it and calling it the Sehtar (seh – three; tar – strings). n The word sitar is said to be a corruption of the word sehtar. This doesn’t stand to reason because:

(1) The three-stringed instrument tritantri and the seven-stringed instrument saptatantri were in existence centuries before Amir Khusro. n 165 years before Prophet Mohammed there lived a singer and poet called Jarham Binatoi who participated in a Poetry Conference in India for three years in succession. The three poems he read at the Conference were etched on golden plates and hung at Mecca. n Jarham Binatoi writes: “The people of India are fortunate that Raja Vikram (also called Samudragupta) is their ruler. He is generous, religious, concientious, and a great musician. His sehtar-playing is such that the listeners’ heart-buds blossom. … contd n …He treated us foreigners also kindly. He sent many scholars of his community to spread the message of the holy religion & they shine like the Sun in our country.From these great men we learnt ishwar-jnana, sangeet-jnana,kavya-jnana,samajik-jnana & learnt playing the sehtar n… These men had come to our country on instructions from Raja Vikram to spread knowledge, religion and music.” Coins are also available on which King Vikramaditya is seen playing the parivaadini. This is conclusive evidence that the Sitar is Indian in origin.

n 2) There is no word in Persian from which the word sitar is derived. The word sitar is derived from the Sanskrit root SA (to bind) It is made of SIT + AAr + R = SITHAE : = BANDHANAE:, AH = SAMANTHATH, RA = RAJAYATHI ETHI SITAR = n which means an instrument which through fastenings gives pleasure from all sides. In the Sitar strings are fastened. pardaas are fastened mijraaf is fastened,
gats are bound by rhythm. Thus, the Sitar is an instrument which is full of fastenings (BANDHAN). n Even if one of these is violated it affects the pleasure. So the word sitar is not a corruption of any Persian word but a pure Sanskrit word. n 3) The Sehtar had three strings whereas the Sitar has seven. But there is no gainsaying the fact that Amir Khusro, the versatile genius, gave the Sitar a great fillip and did much to popularize it. n
It is agreed upon all sides that the Been (Rudra Veena) is the mother of the Sitar. B4 the birth of the Sitar. the Been among string instruments and dhrupadang in singing were prominent. That is why, the Been was played for the most part in dhrupad style only. n Around 7th century A.D. refs of 7 stringed instruments were found in excavation of ‘Pitalkhora’ &’Kudumiamalai’.It appears to be the ‘vina’since it has been given the title ‘chatusprahara svaragamah’ or authoritative texts of notes produced by the 4strings of the instrument. n The name of the instrument is ‘parivadini’ as could be seen from a small level on top of the ‘Valampuri Ganesha’ which reads – ‘Parivadini Amar Kosa’, in the ‘Natya Varga’ speaks of this instrument as –

‘Vina ‘, vallaki vipanchi sat u tantribhih Saptabhih parivadini’ n The three names ‘vina’, ‘vallaki’, ‘vipanchi’ denote three kind of vinas, but that which has seven strings is called ‘Parivadini’. The ‘Buddha Charita’ by Ashvaghosha says that it is a big vina & has strings made of gold. n According to Marcel Dubios, the long-necked lute apprears for the first time in a 10th century sculpture at Pattadakal in south India. The lute depicled here may have been some sort of hybrid of the early stick Zither and short necked lute. n The first depiction of stick Zither with Gourd resonators is seen in 7th century work known as ‘Descent of the Ganges’ or ‘Arjuna’s Penance’ located at ‘Mahabalipuram’ in Tamilnadu. n The stick Zithers depicted here are held diagonally across the chests, with the gourd above the left shoulder. The lute depicted at “Pattadakaal” is held similarly, except that the standing posture has now changed to a sitting
one.

n The north Indian Bin and Sitar are also held likewise. These instruments also have Gourds as resonating chambers.
A fretted Vina is first seen in a tenth century sculpture at ‘Abaner’ in the ‘Harsatmata Mandir’. Ref: Bhāratīya saṅgīta vādya
By Lalmani Mishra, plate 9👇🏼

n The instrument is a stick Zither with notably raised frets, much like, those of the modern Bin and may be considered the fore runner of the ‘Kinnari Vina’ described by ‘Sarangadeva’ n Sri Lalmani Mishra is of opinion that the Sitar is a descendant of the Vinas prevalent in India during the 12th century. His view is – the raised frets, broad bridge and presence of drone wires are purely Indian innovations. n He also slates that the sitar was previously known as ‘Tritantri Vina’ or ‘Jantra’. He maintains that the ‘Tritantri Vina’ described by ‘Sarangdeva’as a fretless instrument, acquired frets at a later date and was known as ‘Jantra’. n In support of this information he cites a passage found in the treatise ‘Kalanidhi’, ‘Kalinath’s Commentary’ on the ‘Sangeet
Ratnakar’ in which the ‘Tritantri Vina’ is said to be known as ‘Jantra’. n Explanation continues from 26/n (Twitter limits max 25 in one go). The thread will end with n/n n In ‘Ain-i-Akbari’ Abul Fazal-i-allam has given the following description:
‘The ‘yantra’ is formed of a hollow neck of wood, a yard in length, at each end of which are attached the halves of two gourds. n Above the neck are sixteen frets over which are strung five steel wires fastened securely at both ends. The low & high notes and their variations are produced by the disposition of the frets.” n In the 14th century only the ‘eka raga vina’, which was tuned according to the notes of the scale and was taken up for playing, appears to have been popular. n Although, there seem to have existed quite a number of vinas,as can be understood from the pages of ‘Vasavapurana’,the’eka raga mela vina’, with movable frets, later on developed into ‘sitar’.This vina was very popular for a long period as found in ref. in Telugu lit works. n Artistic impulse is one of the most fundamental elements in the human psyche which is expressed at times through the medium of art. The Indian artistic tradition is among the most ancient and richly varied in the history of mankind. n In the Ragamala paintings there is a confluence of two major artistic stands, ‘miniature paintings’ and ‘classical music’. Often two or more art forms are combined, and are enriched with each other. Below are few of them👇🏼

n Many historians tried to connect the origin of sitar from some of the foreign instruments. In fact there are many such instruments which resembled with early Indian sitar. N/n There may be some influence, but there is no point in accepting any of them as the predecessor of sitar – when India was so rich with a good number of vinas (or Indian Tanbur, as mentioned by many scholars).
I call it an an end here @FaraaahKhan ji. Sadar 🙏

👆🏼 A thread of 32 tweets for history of ‘Sitar’ debunking the myth that it was contribution of Muslim Dynasties. Pl help share the word of truth. Cc @AsYouNotWish @TVMohandasPai @koenamitra Beat part is Farah Khan has acknowledged the error in her tweet which made me write it.

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