Description of the Sur Bahar
The Sur Bahar is also called the bass sitar. It is a large instrument (21" x 60") with double toombas. This instrument is tuned by as much as a full octave lower than a Sitar. The playing of this instrument and the Sitar are similar enough that one should be able to play both comfortably. The Sur Bahar has much longer sustainable tones, and is suited well to playing slow alaps. The Sitar is more suited to the faster gat and jhala. The Sur Bahar does lend itself to complex melodies, since the skilled player can create a glissando of up to one octave on a single fret.
Our Sur Bahar
The Sur Bahar (SURB) has 7 main strings and up to 12 sympathetic strings. It is highly carved and decorated with inlay. The end of the neck is carved to resemble a mythical bird or dragon. It is played in the same manner as the sitar. This instrument, which includes a hard-sided case, must be shipped by motor freight.