Swarmandal

Swarmandal

The swarmandal (Hindi: ?????????; Bengali: ????????) or Indian harp is an Indian stringed instrument. The swarmandal is an Indian zither that is today most commonly used as an accompanying instrument for Hindustani Classical music (the classical music of North India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) – especially for vocal music. Swara(notes) and Mandal (group)represent its ability to produce a large number of notes; it is also known popularly as Sur-mandal.

Swarmandals measure from twenty four to thirty inches in length and twelve to fifteen inches in width. The singer may choose to employ any number of strings from 21 to 36. The strings are hooked in a nail lodged in the right edge of swar-mandal and on the left they twirl around rectangular pegs which can be tightened with a special key. Wooden pegs were used instead of metal ones in the medieval period.

A sharp half-inch ridge is built on both sides of swar-mandal a little apart from the nails on which the strings are tightened. This ridge functions as bridge on both sides. It is actually very similar to the Autoharp or Zither in many respects.