The sitar is a long-necked lute instrument from India. It has eighteen movable frets and a wooden body. Sitars originally had just three strings but today four to seven strings are common – seven string sitars usually having five melody strings and two drone strings. Sitars also have a number of other strings which run underneath the frets and are not played but provide the instrument with extra resonance, due to their sympathetic vibration with the other strings.
The sitar is played with a plectrum worn on the forefinger of the right hand or with the finger nails. It is mainly used in Hindustani and Classical Indian music but was popularised outside of India in the 1950s by the sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, and in the 1960 by The Beatles.