Sarod / Sarode
The sarod (or sarode) is a stringed instrument, used mainly in Hindustani music . Along with the Sitar, it is among the most popular and prominent instruments. The word sarod roughly translates to "beautiful sound" or "melody" in Persian, one of the many languages spoken in Afghanistan.
The sarod is known for a deep, weighty, introspective sound, in contrast with the sweet, overtone-rich texture of the sitar, with sympathetic strings that give it a resonant, reverberant quality. It is a fretless instrument able to produce the continuous slides between notes known as meend (glissandi), which are important in Indian music.
Mastering the technique of playing Sarod is a little different from that on other instruments. The lack of frets and the tension of the strings make the sarod a very demanding instrument to play, as the strings must be pressed hard against the fingerboard. There are two approaches to stopping the strings of the sarod. One involves using the tip of one's fingernails to stop the strings, and the other uses a combination of the nail and the fingertip to stop the strings against the fingerboard.
Fingering techniques and how they are taught depends largely on the personal preferences of musicians rather than on the basis of school affiliation. Radhika Mohan Maitra, for example, used the index, middle and ring finger of his left hand to stop the string, just like followers of Allauddin Khan do. Maitra, however, made much more extensive use of the third fingernail for slides and hammers. Amjad Ali Khan, while a member of approximately the same stylistic school as Radhika Mohan, prefers to use just the index and middle fingers of his left hand. Amjad Ali is, however, pictured circa 1960 playing with all three fingers.
We at the Raaga School of Music in San Jose are deeply committed to continuing this rich cultural tradition to inspire the next generation of Sarod Maestros right here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our teachers are very well known here in the Bay Area, and all over the world.
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We are a very open learning environment. Please stop by to talk to one of our faculty about Carnatic and Hindustani Music, the History, the Instruments and the Teaching Methods we use to inspire our students to continue this rich musical and cultural tradition. Fill out the following form to schedule a trial class. Please feel free to call us at +1.408.337.2245 or email us at info@raagaSchool.com