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The tanpura (lit. “fill the melodic phrases”) is the primary drone instrument. The tanpura is essentially a sitar without frets with only four strings that has a buzzing bridge. Unlike the sitar, this cannot play any melody. It only functions for providing a constant drone. Usually, the first string (shown toward the right end) is tuned to the fifth (Pa), natural fourth (ma), or the natural seventh (Ni). The other strings are tuned to the tonic (Sa).


 AUDIO CLIP: Tanpura



KKSongs Tanpura Tutorial


LINK: Tanpura MP3s


UPDATED: March 12, 2012