One of the most impressive timbres of Indian instruments is produced by the Sarangi. With its unique keen, slightly nasal, melancholic sound it was a less important melody instrument for a long time which was used mainly for singing and dancing performances. Only in the previous century did the Sarangi also gain recognition as a solo instrument in classical music. Sadly, in spite of this, the Sarangi is one the instruments that are threatened with extinction. The popular harmonium has almost completely replaced the Sarangi as accompanying instrument because the harmonium is much easier to play, even though the harmonium is not capable of expressing the wonderful variety of sounds that are produced by the sliding note movements on the Sarangi. Nowadays, families who have dedicated themselves to Sarangi playing for generations have become very rare.
Similar to the Esraj and the Dilruba, the Sarangi has a continuous wooden body which is covered by goat leather as a resonance cover. Over a horn fret which is fixed onto the leather cover run three thick gut strings. The instrument does neither have a fingerboard nor frets. The strings are pressed down with the sides of the beds of the nails of index, middle and ring finger of the left hand. A relatively short bow sets the gut strings swinging. The resounding 35 steel sympathetic strings produce an echo effect that is typical for this instrument.
The art of building Sarangis nowadays produces hardly any outstanding instruments. For this reason Tarang offers mainly standard Sarangis from Lucknow whose quality differs positively from the rest.
For tuning and stringing of the Sarangi see Tuning