These archives are a  tribute  to the many sarangi players I met in 18 cities of North India during my fieldwork between 1993 and 1998. At this time I filmed around 450 hours of video of sarangi players as well as recording hundreds of hours of digital audio of sarangi players, mostly in their homes, performing, teaching their sons or grandsons, and talking about music and life. The majority of the sarangi players here have now passed away. They were the last bastion of a richly vibrant pre-modern style of musical living.

Each sarangi player has an archive page. His page begins with a clickable slideshow of between 3 and 40 images, either scanned photos or hi-8 video stills. There are also some digital video stills starting in 2002 and some digital photos starting from 2003. 

The videos on this site, unless otherwise declared (for instance the Growing Into Music page), are of raw un-edited (except to separate Individual pieces) footage. Hence many performances begin with sarangi tuning (which can be a lengthy process) and conversation. Several tapes contain a mixture of music and conversation (usually in Hindi or Urdu). So these recordings have both entertainment and research value, and will be of special interest to all the budding sarangi players out there!

The filming was done as unobtrusively as possible. The camera was generally placed in the corner of the room on a tripod, and musicians tended to forget about it as they went about their usual activities. My attention was on them—not on the process of filming—so there tends to be very little variety in terms of the framing of shots, angles, zooming etc. It is stressed that this is archival material and, in a sense, the strictest of cinema verité. The annotation of the videos will gradually increase when I have time to listen to them. See this note on video quality

Most of the videos on this site are hi-8 footage from the 1990s. They are standard definition (720X568). But recently Vimeo have started adding HD buttons to these videos. They have written to me that they now regard these dimensions as High Definition—which is ridiculous. So don't be surprised if the HD button does not actually do very much. Only footage shot since 2009 such as the Growing into Music films, is in true High Definition.

Videos, if already uploaded, are now (2015) being embedded. All the archive pages will eventually contain video, but those pages to which videos have already been embedded are accessible from the "video archive" links (as well as from the main archive links). The extracting and embedding will be a gradual process which I hope to complete in 2015. Several years ago I digitised around 400 hours of hi-8 tapes. So far (January 2015) I have extracted, converted and uploaded around 160 video files representing around 45 of the original hi-8 tapes—out of around 300 tapes—not including digital video from 2002 onwards.  Now I have started editing more tapes. After editing into musically meaningful units, the files' codecs must be converted to be suitable for Vimeo, then they can be uploaded. This is laborious. And the conversion process is processor-intensive, going on all night. 

This is priceless unique material—if you have an interest in sarangi or in the true musical culture of North India. But this work doesn't pay the bills. If it were possible to hire an assistant to do some of the archiving drudgery, that would be bliss. If you would like to make a donation, however small, towards the daunting task of editing, converting and uploading another 200-plus hours of video, it will be greatly appreciated—please see the Paypal button below.