Rajputana Hotel. This brightly garbed young man played outside one of
their fine restaurants. I think the instrument is a sitar, though I am no expert
on Indian musical instruments. Please correct me if I am wrong.
From Wikipedia, I learned that the sitar is descended from a simpler Persian
instrument and it is a plucked instrument used in Hindustani and classical
Indian music. The sitar gained in great popularity in the 16th and 17th
century. "It derives its distinctive timbre and resonance from sympathetic
strings, bridge design, a long hollow neck and a gourd resonating chamber."
Musicians normally sit on the ground to play the sitar.
Vilayat Kahn, from a family of court musicians dating back to the Mughal empire,
is credited with introducing sitar music to much of the world. His first record was
produced at the age of 8 and his last performance took place when he was 75.
Pop musicians such as George Harrison of the Beatles and Brian Harrison of
the Rolling Stones helped introduce the sitar to the Western world. George
Harrison visited India to study sitar under one of the world's greatest sitar
musicians, Ravi Shankar.
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