Just been given a Dilruba

Something different .
A friend is closing down her Indian Furniture & Artifacts business and asked me if I would like anything .
I replied " Something musical " expecting a drum or hunting horn or singing bowl , but she gave me this ;

It has 21 strings ; 4 main strings played with a bow , and 17 sympathetic strings .
One-piece tun wood body .
Goatskin head like a banjo .
Camel bone bridge and nut .
Brass “frets”.

I shall re-string as soon as I have found a source for 20 metres of 0.012 gauge for the sympathetics . :astonished:

…66cm nut-to-bridge .
Now I have ordered a bow for my NS Design NXT EUB which I am trying to learn ( pictured here for scale ) , so it looks like this winter will be a time of much tuning and learning how to bow …

Hmmm, maybe if I fitted a piezo and stood it in front of a monitor I could use it like a tunable spring reverb …

Hah, that looks amazing, what’s it sound like?

Awesome… you must record something with it so we can hear…

Too bad Glyn/Zenda is not able to read this forum anymore, he’d have something helpful to say about it.

It is an amazing piece of instrument-maker’s craft . The intricate bridge with it’s 17 holes is a work of art .

How does it sound ?
Well , I don’t know yet , 2 of the 4 main strings and some of the sympathetic strings are broken , plus I am waiting for a double bass bow . But the goatskin is intact , so plucking shows that it sounds like a banjo at the moment. :confused:
I also will have to make one of the small posts that each sympathetic string diverts over . They look like bone too , so I’ll get a selection of bone from my nephew who is a butcher and find the best match .

The sympathetic ( Tarif ) strings resonate undamped like a drone tuned to the mode you choose , so apparently it can sound like bagpipes :astonished:
Here is the best tuning chart I have found so far with the notes in Western naming ; http://chandrakantha.com/articles/indian_music/dilruba/dilruba_tuning_2.html however it is for a dilruba with 15 Tarif strings and a further 5 Jawari strings .
Mine has 17 Tarif and no Jawari .
As you can see it is tuned to a C sharp major scale but with added Flattened 7th and Flattened 3rd on top and the Flattened 5th in the middle .
The 4 main strings are G sharp , C sharp , C sharp an octave above that you never play , and the main string that is played the most is tuned to F sharp .
The frets are only a guide ( all movable ) and are not meant to be used as frets ; the player slides along the string without pushing down onto the frets , so the spot on the playing string where the seventh fret / harmonic would be on a guitar feels like " home " tonality .

Here is an Afghani teacher demonstrating the dilruba ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Lqh31s-yM8
He is playing one with additional Jawari strings , so here is one similar to mine ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUqGp98bRF0&feature=related
Finally I found this vid of a guy in his home studio playing the dilruba after 59 secs of singing ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtjUKir3vzM&feature=related

Will post a recording when it is finished … and tuned . :laughing:

Wow! Looks fantastic. Got to confess I read the thread title and thought you were joking about a medical complaint. :open_mouth: Nearly bought the electric stand up you’ve got…how is it? I’m saving for the Yamaha version(going to take a while).

:slight_smile: Could indeed be a medical complaint , the name means " Stealer ( or Ravisher ) of the Heart " ; the sound is said to steal the heart away :wink:

The electric upright bass ( EUB ) is the 4-string passive bottom of the NS Design range . I’m very pleased with it , but I’m not really qualified to compare with other EUBs , I’ve only been learning it a few months and fretless electric bass about a year now . The random occasions when I play something in tune are just rewarding enough to make me want to persevere . All the bass players who have tried it in the studio were impressed . I understand from searching the web that some owners swap the tuners and use a preamp but I haven’t found the need yet .

Does your Motu Ethno Instrument include a Dilruba and , if so , what sort of articulations are available ?

Don’t think so but I’ll check and get back to you. :wink:

Oops! Just looked under Indian instruments in Ethno2 and there it is at the top of the list! The range it gives me spans from A below middle C to G (nearly) two octaves above. The attack is quite slow and the timbre is something like a violin mixed in with the acoustics of a wurlitzer. Haunting - I get the option of an articulation something like a downward mordent but that’s probably just a traditional figure for the instrument rather than all it can do. You’re going to have a lot of fun with that.

Aloha and right on Dave.

I am so jealous.
I just want to ‘fondle’ it.
21 strings…
(he said while makin’ that Homer Simpson donut sound).

Good Luck