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Sitars are plucked Stringed Instruments and members of the Lute family with long wide necks and (originally) a gourd Soundbox used all over the Indian Subcontinent. The Frets of a Sitar are moveable and made of brass. Each fret is curved so that a string can not only be stopped but bent around the radius of the fret. There are 3 or 4 melody strings and 3 or 4 Drone strings. The name Sitar originally meant '3 strings'. There are also 9 - 13 sympathetic strings running under the frets.

Variations on the Sitar include the Surbahar which is larger and therefore lower in pitch and the Tampura which is essentially a Sitar without the melody or sympathetic strings and having no frets.