Long-necked stringed instrument of the lute family, played primarily in northern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. As the dominant instrument in Hindustani music, it is used in ensembles and as a solo instrument with the tamboura (drone-lute) and tabla. It has a deep pear-shaped gourd body, metal strings, front and side tuning pegs, a wide neck, and movable frets. It normally has five melody strings, which are plucked with a plectrum worn on the forefinger; several drone strings; and numerous sympathetic strings (strings caused to vibrate by the other strings' vibrations). A gourd resonator is attached to the top of the neck.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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