There are three groups of tanpuras. Male tanpuras, the largest, are made to match the male singing voice and sound best between B flat and D sharp. Female tanpuras, slightly smaller, sound best about a fifth higher, from F to B. Instrumental tanpuras, the samllest, are made to accompany a stringed instrument like a sitar or sarode, and sound best an octave up from a Male tanpura.
Tanpura (called "tamboura" or "tambura" in South India) is the drone instrument that provides the characteristic background for most Indian Classical Music. Like a sitar, a tanpura has a curved bridge, which produces the buzzy sound known as "jawari". Most tanpuras have only 4 or 5 strings, and are tuned to 2 or 3 different notes, but they can make a lovely bouquet of overtones.
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