Tanpura (instrument)

The tanpura, tambura also belongs to the family of long-necked lutes and is a stringed Indian instrument.

It is used as Borduninstrument and in a harmonically rich sound. Most of it is carved from the hard wood of the breadfruit tree. The tanpura usually has four or five metal strings. These are tuned to a root and its fifth and octave and are plucked ungegriffen.


The Tanpura is a distinction between three forms:

Instrumental Tanpura

Flat built and mostly covered with five thin strings, it has a bright sound and melody to the accompaniment of instruments such as Sitars played. The length is usually 95-115 cm. The pitch of the instrument lies with the C.

Female Tanpura

The Female Tanpura is medium in size with four strings strung in which the root is most often tuned to G. The length is from 120 to 130 cm. It has a bulbous gourd body and is played to the accompaniment of singers.

Male Tanpura

With a length of 140 to 150 cm, it is particularly large. It is covered with thick strings, in which the root is usually tuned to C. With their full sound it is traditionally played to the accompaniment of singers.

Today, the tanpura is often, even by professional musicians, replaced by an electronic Shruti box.

  • Lute
  • Music ( India)