Sarangi - One Hundred Colours of the Soul
The Sarangi is an enchanting instrument that dates back to 5000BC. It was created by the great scholar, Raavan. The name ‘Sarangi’ is translated as 'one hundred colours'. Played with a bow, it is known as the mother to all stringed instruments, as well as the instrument whose sound is closest to that of the human voice.
This astonishing instrument was created to sing the praise of the Creator. It was originally used for this purpose, but less so as time went on. In the court of the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib, it was brought back into the spiritual arena and used to sing the 22 ballads (vaars) from the Guru Granth Sahib.
There is a huge difference between a Dhadd Sarangi, or Tota, which is used to sing Dhadi vaars (folk-ballads), and this Sarangi which is also known as a classical or full-size Sarangi. The purposes and sounds of these two instruments distinguish them clearly from one another.
Technical specification of Sarangi:
- Wood: Indian tun (similar to red cedar)
- Strings: natural gut strings
- Skin: goat skin
- Bridge: traditionally made of ivory or bone, now it is more commonly made of rosewood.