The Rocking Instrument- Sursringar
Another form of Seniya Rabab is Sursringar. There are a few limitations to the rabab. The been has an advantage over rabab as the gut strings and skin parchment which are upon the resonator in the rabab slowed down the Alapchari. The sound of the rabab deteriorates due to the dampness of the monsoon.
To improve the quality of the music produced, the Sursringar was made. The skin parchment of the rabab was replaced by a wooden soundboard. Steel strings replaced the gut strings and also a thin iron sheet was used for covering the wooden fingerboard. The quality of the Alapchari tone of dhrupad anga improved because of the modifications which were made. Jaffar Khan, the descendant of the famous Tansen, carried out these changes in the instrument. For the Vilambit or the slow alap, Sursringar is best-suited. The techniques of the instruments like the veena and rabab were incorporated in Sursringar. The Vilambit alap of Sursringar out beat the veena due to its melodious effect.
The effect of the modifications
This started the age-old tradition of playing the Sursringar and Surbahar during the monsoon by the Rababiya Gharana. To play the dhrupad anga alap in an elaborate manner, both of these instruments are used. Before playing gat toda on sarod the musicians used to play the alap on sursringar. Likewise, before playing the gat toda on the sitar, surbahar was played. This gave rise to a custom of learning to play Sursringar with the sarod simultaneously which prolonged up to the twentieth century. The popularity of Sursringar and the Surbahar declined when the sitar and sarod were modified to enhance their quality.
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