INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Kanai Lal sitars are still being made

 

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pb
Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 29, 2003 04:50 p.m.


Hi,
I had a very interesting conversation with Mr Singh from houseofraga.com today, and he says he has 2 kanai lal VK style sitars. I didn't know they were being built, but apparently his decendants are still making sitars. Either that or someone is slapping a moniker on some no name sitars.
So, my trip to toronto is looking better all the time.

Pb

Bruce
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 29, 2003 05:38 p.m.


I have heard from my sources in Calcutta that there is "new" company with this name. I guess we will have to investigate their connection to the original Kanai Lal.
Beenkarji
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 29, 2003 06:25 p.m.


Being a rudra veena player I am bound to know all about Kanai Lal. Kanai Lal & Brothers has been closed for good since 1995. And many companies have been putting that name on older looking instruments. I can assure you that Murari Adhikari doesn't make sitars anymore, in fact he refuses to. He only makes rudra veena, but Muraribabu, will only craft a rudra veena for someone who actually plays it, and with recomendation from a guru. So what ever crap Mr. Singh is telling you is just a way to take your money. I am going to visit him in Kolkatta first thing when I go to India so he can take my measurements and get started on mine. Although I play a Kanai Lal one, I would like custom one to use for the rest of my life.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
pb
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 29, 2003 07:20 p.m.


Hey Beenkar,
things change, some distant cousin by marriage could be making them I'll get the full story when I am down there and take a few pics. I don't have high hopes though.

Pb



Beenkarji (Oct 29, 2003 06:25 p.m.):
Being a rudra veena player I am bound to know all about Kanai Lal. Kanai Lal & Brothers has been closed for good since 1995. And many companies have been putting that name on older looking instruments. I can assure you that Murari Adhikari doesn't make sitars anymore, in fact he refuses to. He only makes rudra veena, but Muraribabu, will only craft a rudra veena for someone who actually plays it, and with recomendation from a guru. So what ever crap Mr. Singh is telling you is just a way to take your money. I am going to visit him in Kolkatta first thing when I go to India so he can take my measurements and get started on mine. Although I play a Kanai Lal one, I would like custom one to use for the rest of my life.
Amitava
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 29, 2003 10:50 p.m.


Ted,

I "heard" that one of Kanai Lal's sons was in the US. Know aything about that?

A

Lars
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 30, 2003 01:02 a.m.


Amitava, I think it's a grandson....in the LA area, I've forgotten his name but can find out.

I've seen a few of these newer 'Kanai Lal' sitars on Ebay, etc. I think the name is different, Kanai Lal & bros. or something. Probably a different Kanai Lal...I wasn't fond of the pictures I saw....


Lars
Beenkarji
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 30, 2003 01:58 a.m.


Okay, here is the scoop, The shop was originally Damodar and Sons, Damodar passed away and left it to his two sons, Nityananda and Kanailal, and which the later had the business named after him. Kanailal passed away early, and Nityanada took over, and when he passed away he left it to his son Murari, and his nephew Govinda. The shop closed for good in 1995, and I believe Govinda is no more, and Muraribabu never made sitars anyway, so there is no such thing as an authentic "Kanailal" sitar because neither of them make them, nor did they train there own sons. However there is tons of shops willing to take advantage of a tourist and they slap on Kanailal and people fall for it.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Beenkarji
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 30, 2003 02:01 a.m.


I should correct myself, there is no such thing as a new "Kanailal" sitar, since Govinda is no longer with us, and his father Kanailal was the sitar maker in the family, and only his son Govinda learned the trade. Murari babu only makes rudra veena, sursringar, and surbahar, all of which are treasures.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
johnnysitarwhatson
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 30, 2003 10:37 a.m.


Hi - as I didnt introduce myself yet (exept for some jokes here and there:-), I do it now: I'm in Germany, playing Sitar for five years now, been to India four times; associated loosely to some indian teachers, as I as westerner don't have access to the real thing (guru-shishja-papapapagaresa:-) I better call em instructors.

About Kanai Lal sitars: there is at least one shop near Howrah/Calcutta that labels its Sitars as "Kanai Lal & Sons, Howrah, WB" or more specific also with "Kundu K? Lane" and a number. These manufacturers are not related to the old shop of Kanai Lals sons that labelled "Lanai Lal & Brothers".

The old one had a good reputation, one of my instructors said, it was best in the 30s and 40s of last century ....
The new shop delivers normal middle class, mostly tun wood instruments that tend to be bassless and rather twangy. The are set up horribly from the factory and need some work. Watch out for a properly set neck.
I bought one of these KL & Sons Sitars in Bombay this year, a black VK model, with the help of my local instructor; the shop had some KLs on display, and I choose the one they didnt want to show me in the first five hours:-). The other instruments were rather unimpressive.

I like this instrument, it is a counterweight soundwise against the deep old Teak Sitar I also own - the KL is hard to play, has a very high bridge/string spacing, likes to be tuned in D=Sa, has a prominent high register and chikari. After some months of playing it got loud and round. But as to expect from a VK model, it will never give you much soulful deep sound.

So if you like twang and can get a KL &Sons cheap, test it. If anybody wants you to pay a lot for it because of the label or name, don't do it. (I paid 7000 rs for mine.) You wouldn't buy a new Fender guitar and expect it to be really good or built by Leo himself?

If you like, I can send a soundclip or give a link to some recording with that instrument.

Best, jsw

johnnysitarwhatson
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 30, 2003 10:55 a.m.


Uuuups - not "Lanai Lal" --- Kanai Kal??? Keo Lender??? Late Leo Fender, Howrah?
There was a short history of the real KL shop on S. Landsberghs site - but I only found this:http://www.ragascape.com/pilgrimage.html
the photo at the bottom of that page.
Beenkarji
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 30, 2003 03:23 p.m.


I know Muraribabu did some work on sitars, but basically they were pre-fabricated instruments and he just did the final stages of the construction process. Later on he completely switched to rudra veena and surbahar, and he even made a couple sursringar, I think Jody Stecher has one by him. Anyways, when people mention the legendary Kanailal sitar they are referring to the ones made by Nityananda, when people are referring to the legendary Kanailal rudra veena, and surbahar (Nityananda did and outstanding job too apparently), they are the instruments made by Muraribabu. Both did outstanding work, but in their own respective field.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
pb
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 30, 2003 11:55 a.m.


Hey Johnnysitarwatson,
have you got pics of your "kannailal"? Sound clips would be a real bonus. I prefer the bass strings on the ravi shankar style sitar too. But I wouldn't mind having a few sitars around to experiment with. If you wish to email me off list that is fine, my info is in my profile.

thanks
Pb

Just a test of the modify.

DaveP
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 30, 2003 01:54 p.m.


[quote]Beenkarji (Oct 30, 2003 01:58 a.m.):
The shop closed for good in 1995, and I believe Govinda is no more, and Muraribabu never made sitars anyway, so there is no such thing as an authentic "Kanailal" sitar because neither of them make them, nor did they train there own sons.]

Just a correction here Ted. Murari did actually make sitars. He made two for my wife and I in 1976. We were living in India at the time and visited his premises regularly while the instruments were being made. They were the most ornate instruments I had and have ever seen, however the sound was not what we preferred and subsequently sold them upon return to our own country.

DaveP
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 30, 2003 05:39 p.m.


Ted,

Murari "made" our two sitars as much as any other manufacturer "personally" makes the entire instrument. Usually the bodies are made somewhere else but to the maker's specifications.

For instance I don't for one minute think that my Hiren Roy sitar was entirely made by Hiren himself even though he personally delivered it to me after 6 months. It looks like Nikhil Banerjee's and sounds like Nikhil Banerjee's so I guess that's all that matters. I remember that some no name, but excellent, instruments in those days were identified as having been made by the person who "made the bodies for Hiren Roy"

I think Murari did more personal work on sitars than most judging by the very elaborate carving similar to his rudra vinas (unless of course someone else did that!). He went to great pains to show off the carving he had done on the instruments he made for us.

I actually have a photo of him and me taken when I was taking delivery of one of the instruments. Which I'll post sometime when I can be bothered figuring out how to.

Beenkarji
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 30, 2003 11:05 p.m.


Yeah, most makers really don't make their sitars, kind of sad. But if it makes a good sitar in the long run then it really doesn't matter. As far as I know MurariBabu did all the work on rudra veena by himself, because he was very attached to them, and also he was the only one who knew the specific rituals involved as far as I have been told.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
johnnysitarwhatson
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 31, 2003 09:10 a.m.


pb - did you get my mail? I have probs finding out the right adress:::::? - and a info from one of my instructors, a great man from Varanasi who visited me yesterday; he told me there is a shop operating under the name of Kanai Lal near Howrah - it is in no way related to the once famous. I showed him my instrument and he said, it is tuned too high. He obviously didnt like it out of Gharana reasons; but when I asked: "Firewood?", he said, "no, keep it." (During this conversation the sitar looked a bit frightened:-)
Beenkarji
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 31, 2003 12:19 p.m.


Yeah, if you like the sitar then who cares what your guru says, thats just your own personal preference. I am sure that the Kanai Lal sitars of today are not like the old ones, but still don't think of them as junk, they actually could be really good.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
pb
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 31, 2003 01:09 p.m.


Hey johnnysitarwhatson,
I didn't get your email.
Good to know that it is not firewood and the only bone of contention was the tuning! I wouldn't mind a VK sitar.

Pb


johnnysitarwhatson (Oct 31, 2003 09:10 a.m.):
pb - did you get my mail? I have probs finding out the right adress:::::? - and a info from one of my instructors, a great man from Varanasi who visited me yesterday; he told me there is a shop operating under the name of Kanai Lal near Howrah - it is in no way related to the once famous. I showed him my instrument and he said, it is tuned too high. He obviously didnt like it out of Gharana reasons; but when I asked: "Firewood?", he said, "no, keep it." (During this conversation the sitar looked a bit frightened:-)
johnnysitarwhatson
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 01, 2003 11:08 a.m.


pb - I had probs with the mail server, but mail is on the way now - my adress is kopfxende@webx.de - remove x
swansong - as there was a question about a certain sitar manufacturer, I tried to provide some info, as I seem to have such an instrument. Your comments are very much appreciated, especially the guitar tuning. Nice idea. Please read what I wrote about the guru thing in my first reply.
Best wishes, I.
swansong
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 31, 2003 04:57 p.m.



Beenkarji (Oct 31, 2003 12:19 p.m.):
Yeah, if you like the sitar then who cares what your guru says, thats just your own personal preference.

Ok... then why even have a guru if you are so knowledgable already. What if my personal preference was to tune the sitar like a guitar, that doesn't mean it makes any bloody sense. If you go to great lengths to buy such an instrument then why screw yourself by ignoring what the true proponents of the tradition have to say.

Think before you post.

pb
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Oct 31, 2003 06:46 p.m.


Hey johnnysitarwhatson,
were you to get email through to me?



johnnysitarwhatson (Oct 31, 2003 09:10 a.m.):
pb - did you get my mail? I have probs finding out the right adress:::::? - and a info from one of my instructors, a great man from Varanasi who visited me yesterday; he told me there is a shop operating under the name of Kanai Lal near Howrah - it is in no way related to the once famous. I showed him my instrument and he said, it is tuned too high. He obviously didnt like it out of Gharana reasons; but when I asked: "Firewood?", he said, "no, keep it." (During this conversation the sitar looked a bit frightened:-)
johnnysitarwhatson
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 01, 2003 11:13 a.m.


Disturbed, but I found the Kanai Lal story, it is here:
http://www.ragascape.com/Ragascapes/2.html

----
Post instead of thinking:-)

Beenkarji
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 01, 2003 05:31 p.m.


You guys don't get my point. My point is it is a disciples choice as to what instrument he chooses. I guru cannot force you to just play any particular instrument, you have to find your own style, and and instrument that suits it. Duh...
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
johnnysitarwhatson
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 01, 2003 06:35 p.m.


Ted - no, it s ok, near to my point: thats why I have no "guru" in that sense. They have to keep their tradition pure, and I am happy about every small insight, far from deciding about style. As a beginner I have to get some technique, the more sources the better, and two lives later I can go a step further (if the Gharana system still exists then). But now devotion would be respectless. And to come back to topic: the choice of a sitar is already a bit of a decision, as the choice of a VK sitar in this extreme twangy built will keep you away from certain deep gamaks and bassy things. But maybe some day there will be a new style with the help or god or the Gibson Echoplex, that will allow twangy Dhruvapada?
Remco
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 02, 2003 09:11 a.m.


Hey Johnny!!
I can assure you the Echoplex won't help much....I've got one!! Works great for ambient, but dhrupad is still a problem. Maybe it has something to do with the electric current!

Peace,

Remco

Beenkarji
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 02, 2003 03:32 p.m.


For dhrupad you want the purest sound possible, tarab strings and effects are merely distractions and are not good for dhrupad. Plus you generally will want to stick with an instrument that suits you vocal range, or you cardiac tone.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Remco
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 02, 2003 05:08 p.m.


wow...if tarabstrings are already too much, an Echoplex will be certainly not be very "dhrupad"
Remco
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 02, 2003 05:10 p.m.


btw.... I hope Pandit Chandrashekar won't read this forum, because he'll kick your ass for saying that....

Peace,

Remco

Beenkarji
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 02, 2003 09:39 p.m.


Pandit Chandrashekar is more rooted in dhrupad, but doesn't not necessarily adhere to it as much as some artists do. But if you want to absolutely orthodox traditional the tarab strings have to go. Personally I like the sound of tarab strings, but I really think they would sound horrible for deep and serious music, tarabs are more of a playfull and liveley sound for Khyal based music.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
pb
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 03, 2003 03:57 p.m.


thanks for the info Jan, now that I look at my sitar, I can see that my 4th string is a small gauge #12 brass one. I have been planning on changing it to the bigger one, but since that one is behaving fine, I never did!

Pb


Jan (Nov 03, 2003 03:18 p.m.):

you have the Benares style of tuning:

http://www.sitarsetc.com/sitartuning.htm

here is a link to Lars description of the tuning. Its a VK with 1 extra string or a RS with one missing and one extra chikari.

That sa little in the middle of the two...

Jan


Jan
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 03, 2003 03:18 p.m.



johnnysitarwhatson (Nov 01, 2003 06:35 p.m.):
the choice of a VK sitar in this extreme twangy built will keep you away from certain deep gamaks and bassy things. But maybe some day there will be a new style with the help or god or the Gibson Echoplex, that will allow twangy Dhruvapada?

you have the Benares style of tuning:

http://www.sitarsetc.com/sitartuning.htm

here is a link to Lars description of the tuning. Its a VK with 1 extra string or a RS with one missing and one extra chikari.

That sa little in the middle of the two...

Jan

Remco
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 03, 2003 04:02 p.m.


I've played in that tuning for the first year and a half. My teacher told me the low Sa tuning would cause tuningproblems (especially when playing on the lo Sa-string)., but I decided to give the low tuning a try and really fell in love with it. The higher tuning sound more "open" if you will.

Peace,

Remco

Ken
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 03, 2003 04:53 p.m.


Stephen,
Well spoken my good man, clear, concise and to the point....cudo's.....Uncle Ken
johnnysitarwhatson
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 04, 2003 12:17 p.m.


Real VK Sitars (not the RR exports) have a higher bridge and closed jowari - so putting deep P or S string calls for trouble with intonation, sound and handling - at least you need long, long fingers ......

pb - did you reveice my mp3?

Remco - after that drive-by-shooting I recovered and found out, you studied with the soundscape god himself ..... GREAT!

And the others: don't hit Ted too hard, he is better than Google. Hit someone who deserves it, George W. Bush or G.F.W. Hegel or me.

Peace, I.

Stephen
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 03, 2003 04:15 p.m.


Ted,
Perhaps you need to read the book "Dhrupad and it's Influence on Instramental Music" to aid you in cleaning up B.S. rather than continuing to parrot what you have read on the internet. You have said much on this forum in the last few months (your posting record almost equals that of the other guy that post photos), and although some of it is very true, a lot of what you are posting is misleading or just plain incorrect. This was a friendly forum inwhich ALL members were civil and didn't feel the need to impress until you stumbled on our little place.
After checking with quite a few sources that are VERY informed, you seem to be the laughing stock of ICM (you certainly are getting a laugh out of many of us on this forum). Perhaps you should give it a rest for a while and actually do some of the stuff you are saying that you are going to do. Learning to play music is done with the ears, not the mouth. I've been holding (biting hard) my lip with just about all of your posts as there is something in each that contradicts what many master musicians would say or just plain etiquette in general. Grow up, tell the truth and spend some of the time you are on the computer practicing. No reply needed as none of us want to hear your defensive posturing.
Respectfully,
Stephen L. Bradley
Jeff
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 03, 2003 08:52 p.m.


I'M SHOCKED AND HORRIFIED! Can it be our young "kunti" was blowing something other than farts out of his Ass? Are you saying that little Tedderic was misleading us all, putting on this deception just to look like some kind of big shot? Can all the nightmarish rumors be true that Beankurdcheese dresses like a fool? So its not truthful when he boast of his talents and when he says he plays a bajillon instruments?
Well who would have ever thought all of this would have come out.
Its a dark day for the forum my friends! If we cant believe Teddles than who can we believe.
Oh young Ted, tell us its not true!
Jeffrey R King
pb
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 04, 2003 01:24 p.m.


Hey jonhnnysitarwhatson,
I didn't get your mp3s. Looks like you got hosed somewhere, or your ISP is mad at you.

Pb

Jeff
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 04, 2003 01:44 p.m.



johnnysitarwhatson (Nov 04, 2003 12:17 p.m.):


don't hit Ted too hard, he is better than Google. Hit someone who deserves it, George W. Bush or G.F.W. Hegel or me.

Peace, I.


Who better to be our whippin boy than Tedley? He seems to deserve it by his own devices.
Cant hit Gee-Dubya, go to prison for that!
Dont know who this G.F.W. is.
And as far as Hegel goes (I'm assuming your talking about Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel [1770-1831],the German idealist philosopher) What did he ever do to you?
As far as hitting you? Well, we'll just wait and see if you need a few whacks or not. Your safe so far.

Oh, and I dont google! I may drool now and then, BUT I never ever google! I dont yahoo either. Now "Yoo-Hoo" thats a different story, ya gotta love that yoo-hoo!


Jeffrey R King
Remco
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 04, 2003 07:12 p.m.


Just curious..... does anyone know a sitarplayer who uses (and recorded) with the Benares-tuning? It seems players only opt for either the RS- or VK-tuning.

Peace,

Remco

Lars
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 04, 2003 09:55 p.m.


Remco, that tuning is more common than just in Benares however that's what I called it since it was the way Pandit Shivnath Mishra and his son Deobrat tune their sitars. You can hear them on my site. They'll tune the 4th string to GA usually but sometimes other notes depending on the Raag.....Not sure but I think Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan uses that tuning also? Someone correct me if I'm wrong there..
Others substitue a bronze lighter SA for the 4th string as recommended by Ashwin Batish, etc. and in some books.
Lars
johnnysitarwhatson
Re:Kanai Lal sitars are still being made Nov 05, 2003 07:35 a.m.


pb, I'll send it again. An attachement with recording of KL-sitar.
Its G.W.F. Hegel, but I have problems editing my kuntis, as my panditword is lost. Hes system is strange.
Shivnath Mishras Music of Benares has a new CD out, with a marveollous Benares-punk-style Raag Jog on it. Check it out. And he ist the one who frightened my VK sitar:-) Tehy used this tuning style for a long time already.
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