INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Surbahar

 

Author Message
Jeff
Surbahar Aug 28, 2003 09:37 p.m.


Who can tell me about them? Best makers? Average price? Where to get one? Tuning? and anything helpful.
Jeffrey R King
Beenkarji
Re:Surbahar Aug 28, 2003 10:15 p.m.


Hi, surbahar is a very good choice for an instrument, I am more fond of dhrupad myself, so I get along quite well with surbahar. Sa is tuned generally around f-g on the surbahar, so it really isn't that much lower, it is the fact that the lower tumba is flat, and it has a wider neck that gives it its beatifull rich sound. The best makers ever were Hiren Roy, and Kanai Lal (actually Murari Adhikari), and these are like treasures if you can get one. I do have a Kanai Lal surbahar for sale, but email me if you are intersted. Otherwise as far as new ones, Hiren Roy would be the only choice as they are the only shop that has experience and dedication to the instrument. There is one surbahar coming from Miraj, but I cannot say what it will be like. If you want to know tons more about surbahar just email me, I have lots of info, and if you want to hear one of the best living surbahar players listen to Pandit Chandrashekar, he is amazingly expressive.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Neal
Re:Surbahar Aug 28, 2003 10:31 p.m.


Hey Jeff,

My teacher has a surbahar from the maker - - - - - Radhey Shyam Sharma. - - - It is a beautiful looking and sounding 'monster' of an instrument. Lars may have some connections as he sells sitars of same maker on his site. There are good surbahar makers out there other than Hiren Roy, it's just a matter of research and supervision and connections and money and ...

I think we are all realizing the makers name can be meaningless. It's all about the research and supervision and connections and money and ...

well you get my point.

You can link to my teachers site from sitarsetc.com He may even have some pictures of his surbahar on the site (davidpontbriandarts.net)

Jeff
Re:Surbahar Aug 28, 2003 11:10 p.m.


Lars had mentioned to me that he has one or could get one but I dont remember which. Buckingham also had an MPS surbahar a few months ago if they still have it I dont know.
I'm about to make a decision on something but I cant make up my mind right now. I have a nice sitar now but no surbahar but I d want another nice sitar. Doesnt someone on this forum play surbahar? I would love to hear his opinion on these instruments and if he plays it regularly or if it just sits in the corner. I'm sure the technique is similar, isnt it?
Jeffrey R King
Billy
Re:Surbahar Aug 28, 2003 11:49 p.m.



Jeff (Aug 28, 2003 11:10 p.m.):
Doesnt someone on this forum play surbahar? I would love to hear his opinion on these instruments and if he plays it regularly or if it just sits in the corner. I'm sure the technique is similar, isnt it?

I believe Stephen plays one.


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Billy
Re:Sitar Innovation Aug 29, 2003 12:18 p.m.



Jan (Aug 29, 2003 10:50 a.m.):
http://www.greenonion.nl/insturments/fresh sitar/gro_instr_indian_fresh.htm

something strange happend to the link,
Jan


Jan,

You shouldn't put spaces in Unix directories/links, like the one between "fresh" and "sitar". However, if you do have a space there, then the link can be made to work by inserting " " which represents the space. So this should work:

http://www.greenonion.nl/insturments/fresh sitar/gro_instr_indian_fresh.htm

Oops, in the sentence above, I said to insert something, it was a percentage sign and the number 20, but this board interpreted that as a space, as well as in the link I put it in, so forget that idea! I tried a couple of different ways to post the link here so it would work, but I just couldn't do it. Just go to the home page like Jan says and click your way to instruments.


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
remco
Re:Surbahar Aug 29, 2003 07:06 a.m.


Surbahar is definitly nr 1 on my list. The only problem is finding a teacher! It's already hard to find a sitarteacher, let alone a surbahar-teacher. I'm in the process of locating a surbahar here in Holland, but sofar no luck....Hey Beenkarji...do you know more surbaharplayer who have recorded? The only players I've in my collection are Imrat & Irshad Khan and Pandit Ashok Pathak (who lives also in Holland).

Peace,

Remco

Matt
Re:Surbahar Aug 29, 2003 07:43 a.m.


Hey Remco,
Check out Baluji Shrivastav - I bought a double CD of his from Amazon, one disc sitar, one surbahar.
Russ
Re:Surbahar Aug 29, 2003 11:34 a.m.


Uhhh........Remco, why not Ashok as your teacher? Does he take new students?
Beenkarji
Re:Surbahar Aug 29, 2003 04:18 p.m.


Their is tons of SurBahar recordings out there, for starters here are some of the artist that I know for sure have recordings.....Pandit Chandrashekar, Ustad Imrat Khan, Irshad Khan, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Manilal Nag, and Ravi Shankar. However some of these albums are only available in India, or are out of print. My favorite among all of the is Pandit Chandrashekar, he can literally sing through his instrument.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
remco
Re:Surbahar Aug 29, 2003 04:23 p.m.


Ashok was the one who introduced me to Indian music. (I'm a Chapman Stick player) I went to a Stickcourse in Belgium and found out there was also a course on Indian music and dance. I was introduced to Ashok and the next year I attend a course for Indian music (me playing Stick). I really respect Ashok, but somehow the chemistry between him and me was not really happening. Also I've got to add that one of the best concerts on sitar I've ever seen was by Ashok: He played an alaap that made many people in the audience (including yourstruly) weep, just magical.....

I'm very, very, VERY happy with my current teacher Darshan Kumari from Amsterdam, from lesson one I felt I found a perfect teacher (patient since I'm not a fast learner ).

I also heard a story told by one of Ashok's students he was only allowed to carry his sitarcase for a year before he was given his first lesson, just to test him.
When I told this story to my teacher she chuckled and said; "maybe he doesn't like to teach"

A link to my teachers site:
http://members.lycos.nl/RIPA/engels.htm

Peace,

Remco

RH
Re:Surbahar Aug 29, 2003 05:13 p.m.


Check out:

http://www.ragascape.com/

http://www.ragascape.com/sources1.html#surbahar

http://www.ragascape.com/cdworld.html


Jeff (Aug 28, 2003 09:37 p.m.):
Who can tell me about them? Best makers? Average price? Where to get one? Tuning? and anything helpful.
Stephen
Re:Surbahar Sep 05, 2003 12:25 p.m.


Jeff,
This one must have slipped under my radar while they were installing our new WAN and I couldn't check out the forum.
You are in a great location for access to a surbahar teacher, Shafaatullah Khan. He is in King of Prussia, PA.
I'll have to agree with Beenieji on Chandrashekar, available from Makar.com, good stuff. I like most of the stuff the Khan family does with this instrument and they like to claim the history of this instrument and it's style of playing. Actually the plectrum work within their style is different from that of the sitar and you will hear them say that players from other gharanas are playing it incorrectly. Shafaatji even told me to not listen to any more of a certain player because of this. Agreed on the best maker of surbahar, but don't make a purchase of one without experienced advise unless you are just buying a temporary instrument (which I've heard that the Buckingham surbahars fit into this catagory, I played the Mangla and didn't like it, certainly not enough to pay $1,900 for it) just to get started with. The style of playing you pursue on surbahar might play a role in which brand you buy. Another thing to consider is how you move it around. I had to trade in my Volvo sedan for one of their station wagons just to move it. And if you think a sitar is big, almost to the point of unmanageable, then surbahar will not be a wise choice. And if you want to play the fast gats of Khayal, this instrument will not be appropriate. I played sitar for several years before making the switch to surbahar, under advice from Ustad Imrat Khan. Now I don't really feel too inclined to pick up my sitar anymore and Shafaatji said that I shouldn't play both until one is mastered. No problem, as the surbahar fits me right well (I'm 6'-1", an advantage when holding a 5' instrument).
But I will say that it is a great instrument for the older forms of ICM and a fine instrument will yield meends up to one octave (I only pull 4-5 whole steps on mine) and will have a killer sustain. Just do stretches before sitting down with it for an hour or two as this big bad boy will wound you in short order.
I'm still waiting for Beenie to get real desperate to go to New Delhi and need to drop his price on the Kanai Lal a K or two, then I'll pounce on a wonderful looking instrument. Jeff, I'll sell you my starter model real cheap when that time comes.
Amitava
Re:Surbahar Sep 05, 2003 12:37 p.m.


Traditionally Surbahar's style is supposed to be more somber and plain - for it was meant to imitate the Been. Not that it is wrong to play it in another ways....in my opinion.

The Imrat Khan family seems to treat the instrument like a sitar. Personally I liked the tone and technique of Steve Landsberg's instrument/recording.

Mangala Prasad is supposedly the maintainer of IMrat Khan's Surbahar. I had a custom instrument ordered from him. It is nice, but not the Landsberg tone..

A

Jeff
Re:Surbahar Sep 05, 2003 01:36 p.m.


Hey Stephan,
What make is your starter surbahar? I must have missed it in your post, E-mail the details, I'm interested.
Jeffrey R King
Remco
Re:Surbahar Sep 05, 2003 03:13 p.m.


I'm in the process of tracking down a surbahar and am curious: does the music played on a sitar translate to a surbahar. I assume scale exercises (murchana's etc.) do work, but how about compositions (ragas, gats)? Is the material played slower or is there more emphasis on meend, since this works better on the instrument? I'm not only asking this from the view of a teacher (who will have a preference), but the most of the surbaharplayers here play sitar and double on surbahar.

Peace,

Remco

Rohit
Re:Surbahar Sep 05, 2003 05:35 p.m.


ok,
all i can tell you is that you cannot learn surbahar on your own properly without some surbahar player teaching you. The techniques on surbahar are similar but not the same. You can play surbahar with sitar techniques but it is not real surbahar, you are just faking it (and with REAL fans of surbahar the falseness shows up easily). As far as the types of things played on surbahar - everything but the gat is played on it in a surbahar concert, the sitar usually playes the gat at the end.
Hope that helps!

Rohit

Jan
Re:Surbahar Sep 14, 2003 01:28 p.m.


Lucky man!

But if i had 2000 � to drop i think i would have traveled to india spent some time and handpicked a instrument. In that way i would get two things i love, a trip to India and a good instrumemt.

If you really are going to buy it then you should jump the first train to Germany to check it out.

Good luck

Jan

Remco
Re:Surbahar Sep 14, 2003 07:39 a.m.


Hi everyone,
I'm in contact with Jens Eckert from India Instruments (Germany) for a surbahar. He's got two instruments in stock: a Hiren Roy and a Monoj Kumar Sardar. Although he prefers the Hiren Roy, because is smaller and has more clarity, he also told me the Sardar is preferred by some because it has more bass. Since I'm drawn towards dhrupad and Rudra Veena I'd opt for the Sardar. The price is the same.
On this forum there's been a lot of talk about brands and makers (bassically it depends on the instrument /or the mood of the maker, perhaps), but what is the verdict of the jury on this forum? Thing is I'll have to order it and have it send over, because Jens is located a tad too far from where I live. So I won't be able to testdrive both instruments.

Peace,

Remco

Amitava
Re:Surbahar Oct 17, 2003 09:55 a.m.


My Mangala Prasad surbahar came with one. It fits well.

A


Remco_Helbers (Oct 17, 2003 07:00 a.m.):
I forgot to mention the Surbahar from Germany doesn't include a case.....let alone a fibrecase......Never heard of a fibercase for a surbahar......You'd probably need to bring a friend to help you carry it....

Peace,

Remco


Jeff
Re:Surbahar Oct 17, 2003 10:11 a.m.


Amitava,
So you got that MPS Surbahar, I'm assuming the one that Buckingham had. How is it? Can you send pics? What do you think of it? Are you happy with it? Can I have it?
Jeffrey R King
K.K.
Re:Surbahar Oct 17, 2003 01:05 p.m.



Billy (Oct 17, 2003 09:33 a.m.):


There's a few photos on the site showing him playing his sitar, none of which were very clear. Here's the best I could find, showing a seven string sitar:


Wow, check out the extra jawari up by the nut!

Lars
Re:Surbahar Oct 17, 2003 02:35 a.m.


Jeff, the shipping figure seems low. If that's the quote then it's coming with low value declaration and uninsured which is not good.

Amitava, all the pics I've ever seen of Purbayan he has a 'normal' string layout.


Lars
Remco_Helbers
Re:Surbahar Oct 17, 2003 07:00 a.m.


I forgot to mention the Surbahar from Germany doesn't include a case.....let alone a fibrecase......Never heard of a fibercase for a surbahar......You'd probably need to bring a friend to help you carry it....

Peace,

Remco

Billy
Re:Surbahar Oct 17, 2003 09:33 a.m.



Amitava (Oct 16, 2003 10:11 a.m.):
Does anyone know if both use the NB style sitar. I saw Purbiyan live last Fall and missed the extra string/peg...was watching his finger a lot more. He uses three finger on the left hand a lot.
A

From his site at: http://www.purbayan.com/ the biography mentions: His style of playing of which Pt. Nikhil Banerjee was the exponent is the most aesthetically satisfying combination of the the best facets of "Dhrupad" and "Khayal". The depth, discipline and richness of the "Dhrupad" form is interspersed with the exuberance and lyricism of "Khayal". In a unique display of maturity Purbayan is able to combine technical brilliance and virtuosity of the highest level with depth and serenity.

There's a few photos on the site showing him playing his sitar, none of which were very clear. Here's the best I could find, showing a seven string sitar:


Namaste',
Billy Godfrey
Jeff
Re:Surbahar Oct 14, 2003 12:33 a.m.


I read somewhere that the surbahar was created to replace the rudra veena or something like that. Are the two similiar?
And,, Would it be worth it just to get a rudra veena from that place in Florida (you know the one, initials are M.E. ) or are they total crap from that place in Florida?
Jeffrey R King
Amitava
Re:Surbahar Oct 14, 2003 10:14 a.m.


Jeff,

I am not familiar with the reason for the emergence of the surbahar. I need to go back and read Miner's book. However, oral (and probably true) tradition states that the instrument was used by non-family members of the been teachers. The older dhrupad practictioners would not teach outside the family (one of the reasons they went extinct), until recent times. If they did teach - for whatever reason, the subahar would be the instrument.

The stroking (right hand techniques) are different, and strictly speaking, the mizrabs are worn in a different way and both middle and index fingers used. Only da strokes are used. The other difference is that due to the fretboard design, meed tecnhiques (if the full range of a fret is used) are more difficult and impressive on this instrument. You can pull close to an octave on some instruments on a single fret. Therefore the technique to sustain such long meends must be different as well, I assume.

Beenkarji
Re:Surbahar Oct 14, 2003 12:10 p.m.


Rudra veena from M.E. are pure crap, I have seen a couple in person, and believe me on both of them the action was too low, the frets had varnish splashed all over, the tumba didn't match, the pegs were mis-matched and didn't fit, and the jawari was not mounted properly. I think you can get a good beginner one for around $2,000 if you look around, they don't come much cheaper than that anymore considering the lack of makers, and the fact that there is only a few people out there who even order them. Actually now that I think about it, try Bazaar of India Imports in Berkely, I heard they have a good one.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Remco_Helbers
Re:Surbahar Oct 15, 2003 09:53 a.m.


I think about buying a surbahar from Germany (http://www.india-instruments.de/index.html). They also have a Hiren Roy for sale for 1990,- euro (that's about the same amount in $$). I was told by Jens Eckert from India Instruments that some people preferred other makers since the Hiren Roy Surbahars are less bassier than other brands. It's also slightly smaller than the avarage Surbahar.

Peace,

Remco

Jeff
Re:Surbahar Oct 15, 2003 09:43 a.m.


I was just qouted a price from a dealer in India for a Hiren Roy & Sons Surbahar. Price is $1200 and fiber glass case for $175 plus the shipping comes around $1500. Has any one here bought direct from a dealer? I'm very intrested in doing this (gonna get deeper in debt! but you only live once) I'm a lttle bit concerned about making a deal with someone so far away. The place is Indian Musical Instruments. I dont know if they are a reputable but I would assume they are.
Jeffrey R King
Beenkarji
Re:Surbahar Oct 15, 2003 03:56 p.m.


I am going to assume both the places that offer the Hiren Roy instruments are supplied by Partha Chatterjee (Lavenir Music House), who is a very shady character, and he himself knows nothing about quality. I suggest if you have a choice talk to his son Purbayan. Also if you are ordering from India, also remember shipping and customs can generally cost more than the instrument itself.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Amitava
Re:Surbahar Oct 16, 2003 10:11 a.m.


Speaking of Partha and Purbiyan ... Partha was big Nikhil B fan, and Purbiyan seems to have followed in his footsteps. The style is sometimes uncanny.

Does anyone know if both use the NB style sitar. I saw Purbiyan live last Fall and missed the extra string/peg...was watching his finger a lot more. He uses three finger on the left hand a lot.

A

Billy
Re:Surbahar Oct 17, 2003 01:34 p.m.



K.K. (Oct 17, 2003 01:05 p.m.):

Billy (Oct 17, 2003 09:33 a.m.):
[quote]Amitava (Oct 16, 2003 10:11 a.m.):
Does anyone know if both use the NB style sitar. I saw Purbiyan live last Fall and missed the extra string/peg...was watching his finger a lot more. He uses three finger on the left hand a lot.
A

From his site at: http://www.purbayan.com/ the biography mentions: His style of playing of which Pt. Nikhil Banerjee was the exponent is the most aesthetically satisfying combination of the the best facets of "Dhrupad" and "Khayal". The depth, discipline and richness of the "Dhrupad" form is interspersed with the exuberance and lyricism of "Khayal". In a unique display of maturity Purbayan is able to combine technical brilliance and virtuosity of the highest level with depth and serenity.

There's a few photos on the site showing him playing his sitar, none of which were very clear. Here's the best I could find, showing a seven string sitar:

Wow, check out the extra jawari up by the nut!


That must be his homage to Banerjee, without the added main string.

Hey, why don't you go back and modify your message, deleting the "[img=" part of it, so the photo doesn't repost in your reply. It doesn't take any longer to load, since its already in the cache from the first time it loads, but its a little off-putting to see that huge photo twice.


Namaste',
Billy Godfrey
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