Sitar is perhaps the most well known of the Indian instruments. Artists such as Ravi Shankar have popularized this instrument around the world.
Sitar is a long necked instrument with an interesting construction. It has a varying number of strings but 17 is usual. It has three to four playing strings and three to four drone strings. The approach to tuning is somewhat similar to other Indian stringed instruments. These strings are plucked with a wire finger plectrum called Mizrab.
There are also a series of sympathetic strings lying under the frets. These strings are almost never played but they vibrate whenever the corresponding note is sounded. The frets are metal rods which have been bent into crescents. The main resonator is usually made of a gourd and there is sometimes an additional resonator attached to the neck.
Different Tuning Possibilities Of The Sitar
The central element in tuning a Sitar is the keynote which can be selected individually and is usually between c and d, often c sharp, depending on the desired sound pattern
Tuning in Ravi Shankar style (Kharaj-Pancham):