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AMHERST, Mass.—Sugato Nag and Debasish Sarkar will perform Indian classical music on sitar and tabla on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. The recital is free and open to the public. Sugato Nag is one of the world’s most brilliant performers on the sitar, a long-necked lute with 20 strings, three of which are used to play the melody and 17 for pitch and rhythm. There are 18 to 20 metal frets on the modern sitar, which has a body made of seasoned teak or cedar wood and a sound chamber crafted from a dried gourd.
Debasish Sarkar plays the tabla, the name given to a pair of hand drums used widely in Indian classical music. The right hand drum, also called the tabla, is made of a hollowed log of wood, about a foot tall. The left hand drum, which is essentially the bass drum, is cast in copper. Both use goatskin heads which have circular mounds in the center, made of iron filings, that allow for modulations unique to the tabla. The hallmark of tabla playing is the coordination between the left and right hand drums.
Sarkar and Nag each enjoy an international reputation. Sugato Nag has a Website at http://sugatonag.homestead.com/sitar.html; Debasish Sarkar at http://debasishsarkar.homestead.com/tabla.html. The Amherst College Concert Office calendar is at http://www.amherst.edu/~concerts/calendar.html.