The Indian Prime Minister Modi highlighted this instrument in his Maan Ki Baat episode. He also mentioned the dance forms Karakattam and Perini Natyam.

What is Sursingar?

Sursingar is an ancient stringed-musical instrument that resembles the sarod but has a deeper sound. The instrument has a wooden body with a gourd attached and four brass or bronze strings that are plucked with a metal pick.

The playing style of Sursingar

Sursingar can be played in various positions, either held vertically or parallel to the ground like a sarod or at an angle like a sitar. The Sursingar is mostly used in Dhrupad, a genre of Hindustani classical vocal music with a low pitch. The instrument is no longer widely used due to a lack of artisans, but the famous artist Joydeep Mukherjee has helped revive it along with the Radhika Mohanaveena.

Sursingar in India

The instrument is mostly used in the Northern parts of India. Chronologically it precedes sarod. Notable performers of Sursingar are Jaffar Khan, Pyar Khan, Basat Khan, Bahadur Sen Khan, etc.

History of Sursingar

The instrument entered Hindustani music in the 19th century. It is a modified Seniya Rabab. The rabab instrument had certain limitations. The sound of rabab deteriorated due to dampness during monsoons.


The instrument is made of wood and leather. The sounds are produced from a gourd. The gourd in the instrument is attached to a hollow wooden handle. Strings in the instruments are made of brass. The musician places the instrument on his left shoulder while playing.

Sursingar is mostly used in Dhrupad

Dhrupad is a Hindustani classical music style. Dhrupad is spiritual in nature. In ancient times, the Dhrupad was sung only in temples. However, the trend has changed now. It was created in 1100-1200 AD. Sursingar is a widely used instrument to play Dhrupad.



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