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sarangi extract 1 (Indian)

sarangi extract 2 (free improvisation)

This is the main bowed instrument of Northern India . I bought mine in 1997 from a tiny shop in a street of musical instrument shops in Calcutta . It has three strings which are stopped by the cuticles of the left hand, and 35 sympathetic strings. I take lessons in North Indian classical music on the sarangi from the London-based virtuoso sarangi player, Nicolas Magriel.

My instrument is normally tuned to either E B E or F C F, the open strings being the notes of most resonance, so that E or F would be the favourite keys to play in. However, as it takes a while to settle into a new tuning, the instrument would not be happy retuning all 38 strings between numbers!

The “Indian” excerpt here is a slow improvisation (alap) using the rag Yaman. I also love playing free improvisation on this instrument, using other contemporary techniques alongside more traditional ways of playing.