Archives of Acoustics, 37, 1, pp. 73–79, 2012

A Physical Model of the Nonlinear Sitar String

Institute for Music Studies, University of Vienna, Universitatscampus AAKH

The acoustic properties of the sitar string are studied with the aid of a physical model. The nonlinearity
of the string movement caused by the bridge acting as an obstacle to the vibrating string is of special
interest. Comparison of the model’s audio output to recordings of the instrument shows interesting
similarities. The effects dispersion and bridge have on the sound of the instrument are demonstrated in
the model.
Keywords: sitar; physical modelling; nonlinear string vibration; dispersion
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