INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: anyone going to india?


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anyone going to india? Jul 03, 2003 07:12 a.m.

I have tried to buy an Ebony Jawari from the Rikhi Ram shop in Delhi, but they can not accept the order since its to small.
They recomend me to get friends or relatives in India to come by the store to pick up the Jawari.

Since im not going to India myself i have to ask you guys. If you are going to Delhi in the near future, and if you are going to the Rikhi Ram shop (worth a visit, a really nice place full of musical instruments crafted to exellence) give me a respond. I need someone to pick up 2 ebony jawaris for me. Details regarding money and adresses will follow if you contact me.



Re:anyone going to india? Jul 04, 2003 09:02 a.m.

You should get in touch with Carsten Wicke through his website, Carston is a student of Asad Ali Khan in New Delhi and travels there frequently. He would probably be happy to arrange a pick-up and mailing. Just be aware that mailing a package from India can be a rather involved process, so make sure that you offer to make it worth his while. He has a right nice website on the subject of Dhrupad and is a good connection for all things concerning rudra veena. Check him out!
You are still more than likely going to have to have the javari work done to the bridges to get the shape that produces the best sound from your particular instrument, so you might consider just having your bridge duplicated by a more local wood craftsman. It's not the geographic origin of the bridge that is important, but the shape. You are talking about a relatively small amount of raw materials that can be purchased at any well stocked wood worker's supply.
Best of luck with this customization. Once you pull it off, I'm sure that I speak for many of us on this forum when I ask that you post your findings on how ebony compares to bone ghoraj.
Re:anyone going to india? Jul 05, 2003 07:21 a.m.


Thank you for the advice, i will try and contact him if i need to. I just got to know that i have some friends that will arrive in Delhi within a month or so.
The only important bit about the origin of the jawari is the price. Im living in Norway, and the prices of just about anything is expensive. To get the jawari duplicated here will be an expensive task. It would be less expensive to have 3-4 ebony jawaris carried on albino camels all the way from Delhi to the west coast of Norway....

I plan to use some of those dark winter nights to TRY to fit a ebony jawari to my noname sitar.

The Rikhi Ram Ebony jawari is made out of one single block of wood (ghoraj + jawari). One solid block transports the tone from the strings to the tabali. My instrument has a light sound, its semi loud (my teacher tells me its louder than "normal") and sweet, with sustain. it is made out of Tun wood. Since its not only the Jawari that is delivering the sound, but the combination of the Tabali and the Jawari. It si hard to pinpoint the ebony influsens on the sound without trying a bone jawari on the same instrument.
My Sitar has no decoration on the Tabali. It looks close to similare to this instrument (from Lars site) but without the inlays, decoration og bone/plastic "wings"
The "lack" of wood on the tabali makes the resonans of the instrument different than others with more wood on top.

In fact my teacher did a nice job on one of his sitars. He got inspired by my instrument and took away a lot of wood from the Tabali of a sitar, and when the sound was
where he wanted it to be, he made resonant holes, like on this sitar, but with a different design:

I have never heard a sitar with souch a volume, its loud...

never mind the spelling...


Re:anyone going to india? Jul 05, 2003 11:32 a.m.

So Schneider did the work on the instrument's tabli? I had talked to him at one point about having him teach me the tricks of javari, which he said that he would do but had a very large backlog of work ahead and that it would be a while. He lives just 1.5 hours away, so this was encouraging. (Bob, are you reading this?). This might be off interest to all of the Eastern U.S. sitarjis. I'm moving to the Philadelphia area in a few months to get on the regular surbahar training schedule with Shafaatullah Khan and as all of his students have told me, he imparts all of the javari wizardry upon his students and they say that he is VERY good at this. I'll be seeing Shafaat in a few weeks and perhaps he might know of someone in Delhi (although he's from Kolkata) that could help you out.
A lot of us in the U.S. joke about living in the ICM waste land, but I would have to imagine that Norway could really lay claim to this title. I've always been intriqued by Norway's native instrument, the nyckleharpa. I'm drawn to instruments that have lots of little appendages protruding from them.
You might also try contacting someone at one of the sangeet academies in the Delhi area, perhaps a student, that could help you out. You might end up with a lifelong pen pal, which can always be a good thing. I consider international bartering to be cultural exchange as well.
Good luck to you in your efforts to ward off the long darkness.
Re:anyone going to india? Jul 05, 2003 02:05 p.m.

Hi Jan,
I can help you possibly if you can get in touch with me soon, I am calling a friend in Delhi this me!


Re:anyone going to india? Jul 15, 2003 06:09 p.m.

There is also a new concept Jawari using plastic being used by Rikhi Ram. Its last longer than normal bridges.
Re:anyone going to india? Jul 16, 2003 08:52 a.m.

I have not seen the plastic one of Rikhi Ram. However, it could be fiber glass. Hiren Roy uses a fiber glass one. Jeff Lewis, in Seattle swears by some sort of artificial countertop material.

The general consensus - by a few musicians is that artificial material may be OK...and some play with it in emergencies. However, they seem to prefer bone.

Indrajit indicated that there is such a shortage of bone jawaris, that Hiren Roy has almost stopped putting them on new instruments. The few sellers auction off the raw bridges - at least in the Calcutta area. Perhaps Lars could cross check with the Delhi and Benaras makers.


Re:anyone going to india? Jul 16, 2003 01:33 p.m.


I have seen the plastic, well actually its a Nylon Jawari.
They use it on many of there innovations like the travel Sitar.
Thats one funny little instrument that really sounds grown up
in many ways. But its a little small, i guess it must be. And size matters!!! ahhh new topic coming up!

There is one thing i know of this material, yes its hard and the surface is kinda oily. Not that there is any oil on it, but its just seems like a slippery material like some kinds of plastics can be. If you get what im trying to say. This can reduse the friction between the string and the javari and i guess that is a good thing.

I think its possible to use any hard material for jawari construction, for now im sticking to he ivory. Perhaps a
polished Marble jawary would be nice, or stainless steel.
India is huge on stainless steel...


Re:anyone going to india? Jul 16, 2003 09:00 p.m.

Yes, there is a shortage indeed....the main source for Calcutta has gone away...I like the fiberglass bridges, also they last longer because of the material and it is self-lubricating. According to friends who know, you lose about 5 % of the sound quality. Amitava, remember last year at the morning concert? Indrajit had a Hiren Roy 'faux' bridge, I thought it sounded great.....the cheaper bone bridges are available still but are thinner, you can find them at Mid East and elsewhere still I think but the string grooves are pre-cut and usually there are saw marks on the jawari surface, etc....


Re:anyone going to india? Jul 17, 2003 08:06 a.m.

I agree Lars. I thought that the instrument Indrajit played with the Faux bridge sounded good. However, someone who has played an instrument for 30 years is more particular.

Jan, south Indian veena players havea layer of brass on top instead of wood/bone. They too have to do jawari...but for some reasons, it does not impact their tonal quality as much. I wonder whether sitar players are too picky

Also the use of different material conducts force differently to the tabli - making the timbre/sustain different. So while steel may solve the wear/tear not sure about the volume/subtleties of the final output. Jeff Lewis claims that his material handles both - the wear and conduction challenge well. Note I have not seen/heard/compared his jawari. Just spewing out heresay.


Re:anyone going to india? Jul 17, 2003 09:56 a.m.

interesting info...

Where is it possible to find info about the Hiren Roy Fiberglass jawari?
Do you guys have a link? i searched but didnt find anything...


Re:anyone going to india? Jul 17, 2003 12:36 p.m.

The Sitar I built out of mahogny has a sound hole like the one in the picture
from that website. It makes a louder Instrument. It gives it a more bass sound
If thats what your looking for.
Re:anyone going to india? Jul 17, 2003 02:51 p.m.

Sitar rules!

Im not lokking for anything just now, i was looking for some ebony Jawaris, and Lars is getting them for me.

Im going to transform my noname Sitar to a Sitar with ebony jawari, possible add a sound hole and put on new frets if im able... This is a longtime project for me, but as soon as i get the strings of an the new jawari i will pick up speed. Now in just doing research : )


Re:anyone going to india? Jul 17, 2003 03:04 p.m.

has anyone tried the bridges made is maharashtra/miraz
the only other place in india to make sitars ..good ones..
there are very good bridges and very cheap too....
very less expencive than the calcutta ones....
they are known to to last longer too
take care
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