Sarangi also called saran or saranga is a stringed instrument of Arabic origin. Carved from a single piece of timber, has 3 main strings made ​​of goat gut, and seventeen steel bourdon strings. Sarangi is known all over India, Nepal and Pakistan. It is particularly important instrument in Hindustani music.


The sarangi is played with a small bow. The so-called fingernail technique is used because there are no thresholds in sarangi, and the bourdon strings (chanters) are placed on the fretboard. This technique uses shorter strings while moving the left hand's fingernail along the strings. This results in many liquid tones, on the other hand - sarangi considered to be one of the most difficult instruments in terms of the necessary technical skills.

In Nepal, known under the name of sarangi is completely different stringed instrument built similar to Bengali sarinda. It has no bourdon strings and the fingernail technique is not applied. There is slightly less popular version of this instrument in Punjab, called the "small sarangi" and sarangi used in Kashmir is even smaller and has fewer strings. Sarangi is the instrument mainly used in religious music and as an accompaniment for actors in theatrical performances.

One of the few people in Poland playing the sarangi is a professor Maria Pomianowska, who studied the instrument with Pandit Ram Narayan.

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The instruments recorded in the project come from museum of sound with more than 80 thousand object collections from the National Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw. Together with museum staff we have chosen 23 instruments guided by the following principles – they should be definitely folk, unusual, derived from the old times, Polish and coming from different cultural backgrounds, also exotic like e.g. Asian.

Recording a full range of tone of 23 instruments - tonal and sonic scale lasted several days. Thanks to the recordings - sound banks were created and have been used in the project in two ways. The first way was based on motion-sensitive controllers which created new practical instrumentarium for use during the workshops and animation activities. The second way was placing recorded sounds on the website for promotion of the idea of the project and gathering a great number of recipients.

All instruments were also photographed and described which enabled creating of publicly accessible compendium of information about them.