|Saringda is a bowed folk fiddle of the sarangi class. It is
found in Northern India, Pakistan, and Nepal. There is actually no
consensus as to whether this instrument deserves to be considered a
separate instrument, or just another variation upon the sarangi. For
those who are disposed to consider saringda to be a separate
instrument, it is differentiated from the sarangi by its shape. The
base of the saringda is rounded or pointed where the base of the
sarangi is square. Furthermore, the neck has a different shape.
The size is highly variable. One to two feet in length is normal. One occasionally finds them larger than two feet, but as a matter of classification, such larger versions are generally referred to as "sarang" instead of "saringda" or "sarangi". There is really no agreement as to exactly what size constitutes a sarang, there is only agreement that the sarang is larger.
The left hand technique for the saringda does not vary
appreciably from the sarangi. As with the sarangi, it would not be
fingered by pressing the string against a fingerboard, but would
instead be fingered by sliding the nail (or at least what used to be
a nail) of the index, middle, and sometimes ring fingers of the left
hand against the string.
The bow (known as "Gaz") is highly variable. In its simplest, it is nothing but a piece of wood which is bent into a bow and strung with horsehair. Occasionally, it has a more complicated construction based upon a wooden rod with a wooden frog supporting the horsehair. The frog is then fixed to the body of the by string. Among folk musicians, small bells (ghunghuru) may either be tied to the bow, or worn around the wrist of the right hand.
The number and function of the strings (known as "Tar") are
variable. In its simplest, it has only a single string. However, it
usually has three to four strings which may be bowed. Of these, one
string is the main string (known as "Baj Tar", while the others
function sometimes as a drone, and at other times to extend the
range of the instrument into the lower octave. As with the sarangi,
there may be sympathetic strings which vibrate without ever being
bowed or struck. Since the saringda is generally a much simpler
instrument than the classical sarangi, the number and complexity of
these sympathetic stings is considerably less.