About Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjay Deshpande is a versatile and a very creative sitar player. He is known to brilliantly perform a variety of music forms on Sitar. From very classical Indian music to film songs to rock, he can play ragas-to-rock on his Sitar.

Sanjay Deshpande learnt to play Sitar under the able guidance of Late Pt. Vishnupant Dharmadhikari; a Esraj (Dilruba) Exponent of Gwalior tradition. He is considered as one of the leading Sitar Players of the younger generation. In the year 1995, Sanjay was felicitated with “Late Trimbak Daji Joshi Award” by Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalay, Mumbai, for securing first rank in Sangeet Visharad, with Sitar as subject.

Accredited to be the pioneer exponent of the “Khayal ang” on sitar, Sanjay has made major reforms in the Sitar instrument that facilitates playing not only Indian classical but any music on Sitar. This sitar is popularly known as “Sanjaykhani Sitar” among the sitar-makers. Let us see what made Sanjay to introduce this new Type of Sitar.

The Sanjaykhani Sitar
Sanjay has pioneered a unique style of presentation – Khayal ang. He recently brought two major changes in the style of playing and in the instrument as well. These changes are widely acknowledged by sitar enthusiasts and experts. Sanjay has converted, or rather re-moduled the flat term toda, as taans. and a modular and a compact structure of a typical presentation of the Bandish in a typical Raga with the Sthai, Antra, the SthaiTaans, AntraTaans and The Sampurna Taans in a variety of Alankaars.

Sanjay says, “I feel that majority of the audience always listens to more of vocal music than any instrumental music. Therefore, any instrumental performance which adheres to the true presentation or the Badhat of the Raga in the way of vocal music is more understandable to the audience”.

Sanjay successfully experimented and has adopted the actual Bandish in Dheema Teen Tal or Vilambit EkTalor other Talas in place of Masitkhani Gat and surprisingly, he has been receiving a very good applause from the listeners and the connoieusers as well. “even the conventional Jod, which is the reformation of Nom-tom, though difficult to pronounce on Sitar, sounds more realistic; i.e. true to vocal style, than the traditional “Jod.” he adds.

Since Sanjay felt that the traditional Sitar fell short in playing all kinds of music, he experimented and reformed the Sitar. With a view to modify the Sitar to include all the frets on the fret-board so as to play any kind of note without shifting any fret, Sanjay experimented with the instrument and came up with the renewed Sitar – the Sanjaykhani Sitar.

The Sanjaykhani Sitar is reincarnated to play all types of music which includes western music as well. Sanjay brought changes in the Bridge, Frets and structure of Strings of the instrument so as to play any kind of music which is not possible on a traditional sitar.

The major aspect in this new Sitar is a totally new concept in the design of the bridge. Sanjay introduced a bridge with convex curvature for the Sitar. The conventional bridge of the Sitar is a flat piece made of Deer horn or Rose wood, on to which, the strings travel. The new bridge facilitates playing any string on any fret which is not possible in traditional Sitar. Playing meends becomes very easy, because after stretching the string, it flows as per the curvature of the frets and there is no obstacle to the string, because of the curvature of the bridge.

And the most important thing is that the bridge does not require frequent leveling (Zawari) thus increasing the bridge life. The material used for making this new bridge is the same conventional material only.

If you would like to have more information on Sanjaykhani Sitar, please visit www.sanjaydeshpande.in.