This small instrumental tanpura has been damaged during transport from Calcutta to Belgium. Frederic tS. has bought it new at Hiren Roy and shipped it by air with Jet Airways. The parcel arrived in Belgium with a slight crack in the fiber case and the instrument itself was pretty damaged. The tabli and a small piece of the neck became loose over 70% of its contour. At the time of departure it was very hot in Calcutta, Frederic said but a newly made instrument from this famous instrument makers branch should be resistant to regular climatical circumstances as they occur very common in that region.
For me and you a unique occasion to discover the interior of such an instrument. The tabli is thin, measuring from 5 to 9mm, out to in and roughly cut with a round chisel. Also the back piece is cut very roughly and irregularly and is rather thin. At the tail a piece of bamboo is mounted and bamboo nails are used to fix the decoration again after the repair.
This sitar which belongs to my friend Chico has a problem: the neck has bended too much. The playing string is tilted 14mm above the last pardas’ surface. The neck came up 5mm at the tar daan position. See the photo (left) with the red line. (click on the photo to enlarge)
To fix this problem, the sitars neck has to be opened and glued again. The result is yet to be seen on the photo (right) with the green line. (click on the photo to enlarge)
You can see more photos about this surgery on a new page added to the repairs chapter.
Finaly, at the end of july we were lucky to have had at least a couple of days good weather with nice sunshine. One of these days I succeeded to finish the polishing of this sitar. I’ ve been making some fresh new polish ready during a previous (short) visit of our much beloved sun at the end of june…
A couple of days later the polish has been drying sufficiently. Time to complete the sitar again by mounting the pardas, jiwaris and strings.
This old Rikhi Ram is having a problem: the joint got loose.
I handled the same problem before on another (left – handed) RR sitar. On that occasion I made a new joint which took a lot of work to make it fit perfectly. Now I turned an old pressure cooker into a steam generator which is used for removing and loosening the animal glue.
First step is to open the sitar :
Then I drilled a fine hole in the corner area of the joint in which the needles will blast their steam.
I add water to the pressure cooker and have the power switched on …