Belonging to the North Indian classical tradition, the sitar is South Asia’s most famous plucked string instrument on the world stage. It is the first one to be widely heard and recognised in the West through the appearance of late Pandit Ravi Shankar way back in the 1960s and courtesy being on tracks by bands such as The Beatles, The Doors, The Rolling Stones. With a bridge design, a long hollow neck, and a gourd-shaped resonance chamber and frets under the strings, it is thought that the instrument's name comes from the Persian “seh” (meaning three) and “taar” (meaning string). Although its exact origins are not agreed, it flourished under the Mughal rule in India in the 16th and 17th centuries and arrived at its present form in 18th-century India. 

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Sanjay Guha

"Right from my childhood, I was surrounded by beautiful music, from Vilayat Khan to Ravi Shankar … It was as though it was destined to be my passion."

A Fellow of Trinity College, London, Sanjay Guha belongs to the Maihar-Senia Gharana renowned for its systematic unfoldment of a raga as well as a strict adherence to tunefulness even while playing in fast tempo. A prolific sitar player, he was initially introduced to the instrument by his uncle Satyabrata Guha, received training from Sarod maestro, the late Radhika Mohan Maitra, and later on also received special guidance from late Pandit Ravi Shankar and Deepak Choudhury.

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