Hope you are fine there. I have been thinking of writing to you immediately after I received your last mail, requesting me to send information on the music instruments. However, some urgent commitments kept me engaged. I am really sorry, for being a bit tardy in getting back to you.
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Now, I will explain to you about the three identical musical instruments sitar, tamboura and lute. Basically, these three instruments are plucked instruments which means they are played by pulling and releasing strings which causes vibration. At a glance you may feel that tamboura and sitar are same but if you take a closer look, you can identify the difference. Sitar has curved frets, which can be tuned accordingly, and is used for playing Hindustani classical music. On the other hand, tambuora has four or five long strings which could be plucked to create melodious notes. Lute has a bent neck and it is an accompanying instrument.
Now let me tell you something about the etymology of these instruments. Sitar was developed during the thirteenth century AD by Amir Khusro, and it is a member of the Veena family of Indian Musical Instruments. Tambuora is the name derived from the word Tana which means "complete" Lute derives from the Arabic word "al'ud" which means "the wood" and the player of a lute is called a 'lutnist'.
You will be interested to know how to tune and play with these things, right?. The tuning of sitar depends on the player's personal interest. The main string is tuned to the tone of Saa....and the other strings are tuned to the notes of other ragas being played. The player balances the instrument between his left foot and right knee and passes his fingers through the strings to produce the sounds. He does not have to carry the weight of the entire instrument. Tamburas are in different types and different sizes. They have only a key note and it is played in different pitches. The way in which the tambuora functions and is played is particular. That is, it does not take part in the music actually played. It is an accompanying instrument which gives a harmonious support to the music being played through sitar.
Lute, as I told you earlier, is also an accompanying instrument. It can be divided into different parts and these are: soundboard, back, neck, belly, bridge, frets and strings. Because its name derives from an Arabic word, you can understand that it is an Arabian instrument. From Arabia it came to the European culture with the Saracen musicians. But the use of the lute declined during the 1800. It was restored into the musical world during the twentieth century by the early movements in music.
After this movement, its traditional design was changed to that of a classical guitar. Because of this, lutes are more expensive nowadays and you can get only used ones. Original historical instruments are found only in museums. Hope I have been able to provide you some basis ideas about these instruments. If you need any further clarification you are most welcome to ask.