The Dilruba is a solo musical instrument popular in North-Western India, mainly in the states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. It is a cross between a Sitar and a Sarangi. It resembles the Esraj and Mayuri Veena and sometimes people are unable to tell them apart.
Parts of Dilruba: The Dilruba is built on the same principles as those of Sitar so far as the arrangement of frets (Pardas) and tuning of strings are concerned.
Instead of a Tumba it has a wooden belly covered with sheep parchment (Pudi). It has frets similar to those of the Sitar, nineteen in number (which are moveable). They can be increased and adjusted according to necessity. It is played with a bow (Gaj) of horse-hair. Dilruba has only four main strings and twenty-two sympathetic strings (Tarabs) stretched below the frets. There are 4 tuning-pegs (2 on either side) at the top for the 4 main strings, with a screw arrangement like that of Mandolin.
The height of the instrument varies from 3 to 4 feet and the width of the belly is about 7 to 8 inches. The bow is about 2 feet long.
Tuning: The tuning of the four main strings is usually as follows:
The first string is tuned to Mandra saptak (lower octave) Madhyam.
The second and third strings (pair) are tuned to Mandra saptak Shadaj.
The fourth string is tuned to Mandra Saptak Pancham.
The first string is made of steel, the middle pair of strings are made of copper and the fourth string is made of brass.
Invention: The Dilruba was invented during the Moghul period in India, about two centuries after the invention of the Sitar.
Noted Dilruba Players: Pandit Shiv Dayal Batish, Shri Prahlad Ganu