The Dilruba

The dilruba or Esraj is a string instrument found in certain northern and western states of India.

The dilruba and esraj are slightly different from each other, with the latter being more commonly found in east and central India, and the former in north and west India.

The dilruba is an attempt to reduce the size of its predecessor, the Taus. It has a long neck and resonator, with 18 strings and frets along the neck. It is played with a bow (gaz). Almost all playing is perfomed on one string, while the others are used as sympathetic strings. It is used as accompaniment for religious music of the Sikh tradition (Gurmat Sangeet).

The esraj is commonly used as an accompanying instrument for folk and religious music, including the Rabindra Sangeet tradition of West Bengal.

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Performer Information

Performer Name: Kirpal Singh

Musical Tradition:
North, Hindustani

Did you know

The instrument can be considered a cross between the sarangi and the sitar since it is played with a bow but has frets.


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