The Sarod originated from the Arabic instrument, the rebab and around 1300 AD was named the Sah-roda; a bowed, gut instrument introduced to the Mughal court of North India. Modifications and changes to the Sarod continued until the end of the nineteenth century since when it has remained constant; wire strings plucked with a coconut or ivory plectrum. The body of the Sarod is carved from one piece of teak or mahogany wood and is approximately 1.2m in length varying slightly when custom made for a specific performer. The bridge is supported on a soundboard of stretched leather, which is extremely sensitive to vibration and temperature change. The fingerboard is metal andfretless and the full resonance of the note is produced by pressing the string onto the fingerboard using the fingernails of the left hand. Not having frets allows for both precise individual notes and a variety of intonations through glissando. Of the 25 strings, 4 are used for melody, 2 for rhythm, 4 tuned to the dominant note of the raga and the remaining 15 are sympathetic vibrating strings tuned to the micro notes of the raga. The range and sonority of the Sarod makes it one of the most beautiful of North Indian instruments, its complexity allowing for an extraordinary diversity of sound and mood.
Jeff Martin plays the sarod during Inanna live as well as The Badger and Sister Awake from the Edges of Twililight