The Sitar is a long necked string instrument played in North Indian classical music, film music from India, and Western fusion music. This instrument belongs to the lute class of chordophones. Ravi Shankar has popularized this instrument around the world.
It has three to four playing strings and three to four drone strings. The drone strings are almost never played but they vibrate whenever the corresponding note is sounds. The playing strings are plucked with a wire finger plectrum called mizrab usually with the right hand. These melodic playing strings are pulled by the player usually with the left hand to make the pitch slide. The fingers touch these melodic strings between the frets. The frets are metal rods bent into crescents and are movable so that the scale can be altered. There are also a series of sympathetic strings lying under the frets. The total number of melodic playing strings, drone strings, and sympathetic strings is usually 17. The main resonator, located at the bottom of the instrument, is usually made of a gourd, and there is sometimes an additional resonator attached to the top end of the neck.
Hear the Sitar on 'Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo', 'Dharana', and 'Bar-Bar-A' from 'Svadharma'