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SWARABAT (a.k.a Swaragat, Sarbutle)

by David Courtney working tools

swarabat, swaragat, sarbutle

The swarabat (a.k.a. swaragat, sarbutle) is a very rare instrument of southern India.  It is essentially a bass rabab.  As such, it is in the same family of instruments as the seni rabab, kabuli rabab, dotora, and the sarod.  It has a body made of wood up on which a skin is stretched.  On top of this skin, a bridge is placed upon which a number of strings pass.  These strings are usually of silk.

A number of great personages are known to have played the swarabat.  These include include Parmeswara Bhagavathar, the Raja Swati Thirunal, Baluswami Dikshitar (the brother of the great Muthuswami Dikshitar), Veene Seshana, and Krishna Iyengar.  Today this instrument is nearly extinct.



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For comments, corrections, and suggestions, kindly contact David Courtney at david@chandrakantha.com