DANDEE The long neck of a sitar or tanpura which supports the strings, resonant chamber and tuning pegs. The entire length is hollow serving as an extended sound resonator.
TABLI The wood sound board or resonating front face. Vibrations from the plucked strings are transmitted across the tabli via the attached bridge to the gourd resonator. The tabli's thickness, size, shape and wood density are major factors in the instrument's tone quality.
TUMBA The characteristic gourd resonating body of the sitar and tanpura. Its size, shape and thickness are factors in the quality of sound produced.
JAWARI This term refers to the bridge that supports the instrument's strings. "Jawari" also refers to that bridge's precision surface contour under the string's contact point. This is the heart of an instrument's sound quality. It takes great skill to shape this surface correctly and is essential in producing the resonant buzzing sound.
MANKA These are the bone or plastic fine tuning beads certain playing strings are inserted through. Adjusting the Manka's position on the instrument's body fine tunes that strings tension and thus the note produced.
KUNTI These are the tuning pegs. Each string is attached to its corresponding peg and held taut by friction from the pegs tapered shaft inserted into the Dandee (neck).
TARAF An array of nine to thirteen fine steel strings mounted on a sitar under the upper level of the main playing strings. The taraf are carefully tuned to the selected notes being played. These played notes will cause the taraf strings to vibrate through sympathetic resonance. Cascading harmonics can also be heard adding richness to the total sound.
PARDA These are the sitar's frets; a series of calibrated metal bars attached to the Dandee (neck). The main playing strings are pressed down at these Pardas to produce the different notes. Unlike a guitar with fixed embedded frets, the sitar's pardas are raised metal arches that are tied to the Dandee (neck) and can be individually positioned for microtonal notes necessary in Indian music.
KATCHWA Literally "Turtle". This describes the comparatively shallow profile of the resonating body. Cutting a gourd horizontally across its stem rather than vertically produces this shape. This shallow body allows increased comfort while playing and easier access to the strings.
GAYAKI Translated as lyrical, this term describes an approach to or style of playing a sitar. The sitar itself is set up so as to best match the natural vocal range. Performance techniques emulate the singing style typical in Indian classical and folk music.
CHIKARI This is the term for the two highest upper strings on a sitar (#6 and #7). The #6 string is tuned one octave above the tonic (second string open) and the #7 string is tuned two ocatves above that tonic. The purpose of these strings is to provide additional tonic supporting drone notes and when struck with the mizrab (plectrum) in rapid succession within the melody played, produces a very exciting effect.
KHARAJ This refers to the bass strings on a Kharaj sitar. The third string is usually tuned the third or fourth degrees of the scale below the tonic (second string open) and the fourth string is tuned a full octave below the tonic.
MEEND This refers to the technique of laterally pulling a sitar's first string across the frets to produce a wide range of possible notes. Accurate intonation takes years to master. The effect produced is very much like a vocal interpretation of a melody - a typical and necessary skill required of a concert artist.
SAPWOOD This refers to the outer cross section of a tree. The wood approaching the outer bark gets very light in color and is not as dense. It is often used as a cost cutting measure in musical instrument production, often being stained dark or painted over. A quality instrument will have wood only from the center area of this wood cross section and be color matched.

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