The Sarode, named SAROD-DHAYAK-VINA in Sanskrit, was invented by Bharat Muni. In the early 16th Century it was known as the SAROOD, which means "melody," in the Persian language. Gulam Ali Khan, court musician of King Wazid Ali Shah, made the first changes to the sarode.
Padma Vibhusan Acharya Baba Allauddin Khan (Ali Akbar Khan's father) and Ustad Ayet Ali Khan (his uncle) modified and perfected the present shape of the sarode, which is over one hundred years old. Through his performances and teachings, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan continues to spread the knowledge of the sarode throughout the world.
The sarode is hand carved from a single block of seasoned toon or teak wood. The fingerboard is a smooth, fretless, steel plate. The belly is covered with a goat skin, and it is here that one of the main deerhorn bridges rests, while the other is on the neck before the main strings.
The present sarode has 25 metal strings of different gauges with 4 main strings carrying the melody. Tuned to the principal notes of the raga are 4 jawari strings, while 2 chikari strings are tuned to the tonic and used for drone and rhythm. The remaining 15 strings known as the taraf provide sympathetic resonance and are tuned to the scale of the raga. The right hand holds a plectrum, or java (made from a coconut shell), while the left hand uses the finger tips. The nails and tips of the fingers produce the slide or sustained glissando sound.

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