[NetBehaviour] kroneckerdelta blues

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Mon Mar 30 17:47:08 CEST 2009

kroneckerdelta blues

played on an, as yet, unidentified instrument - 5-strings, similar to
a sarod, with a metal finger-board, no frets, and a skin head over a
wooden-bowl body. but there are no sympathetic strings, the appearance
is something like a seni-rabab (which has gut strings and a wooden
finger-board. the original bridge was extremely high, indicating it
might be bowed, but it's not rebab-shaped, and that would be difficult.
the other possibility is that it was fingered only near the nut; it
seems to go out of tune otherwise. so i whittled down a chinese bamboo
bridge, which i shimmed up; this works a bit better, but only a bit.
i found it less difficult to play fretless than i thought it would be;
on the other hand, the strings are close together and that makes for a
somewhat ragged style. i use nails, sometimes with a sitar pick as
well. because of the humidity, the skin is somewhat slack, and the
sound is an odd combination of incredible resonance and 'thump.' i
tuned the five strings c-g-f-c'c' - the last two double-coursed like a
saz. the first five pieces use the instrument; the last uses the cura
cumbus, which is fretted. the overall impression is manic and strange
and hopefully of interest. (the kronecker delta is a 0/1 operator in
quantum mechanics.)


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