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These are stringed instruments. Sound is produced by way of vibrating strings or strings stretched between two points. These instruments are further classified into plucked, bowed, fretted, and non-fretted instruments. Some such instruments are harps, lyres, zithers, and lutes. Sound is produced by inducing the vibration of a taut string or chord by plucking or bowing. The length of the string and the tension in it determines the pitch of the note and duration of the sound. String instruments can be classified based on the mode of play:

  • by friction with a bow like a sarangi, dilruba, esraj, etc. (Ravanastram is one of the earliest known bowed instruments);
  • by plucking the string like the Saraswati veena, Rudra veena
  • or by striking with a hammer or a pair of sticks like gettuvadyam, swaramandala.