To the reader who enjoys the various tones and rhythms of Indian music the tabla and sitar are always a foundation for some of the greatest of all music. Perhaps no instrument is more readily recognized as the pride of India than the sitar. Our craftsman who create the sitar instruments are very particular in their choice of the materials and understand with great pride how powerful the final product will be. Choosing exactly the right gourds for each of the tumba chambers and then ensuring a perfect cut is the task of the master's hands as they prepare the instrument for the player.
What many people may hear as an organ or accordion is, in fact, the Indian instrument called the harmonium. After finding its way to Indian music in the mid nineteenth century this reed, stop and key instrument quickly became and remains a mainstay in the music of the continent. Constructed of many moving and fixed parts the harmonium is played very much like the reed organs found around the world.
Learning to play each of these Indian musical instruments, the tabla, dhol, sitar, sarod, and harmonium takes time. Masters may spend years with their pupils to pass down their own, and often very recognizable style of playing each instrument. Expecting to pick up and play a sitar or sarod, for example, without instruction from a master would soon lead to frustration and early termination of learning.
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