The Dobrovina

NORTH INDIAN CLASSICAL, or Hindustani, music explores tonality and rhythm using complex scales (raga) and time signatures (tala). Its archetypal lute is the vina. The word, in suffix, has grown to mean any instrument with:
rhythm strings: steel keynote-octaves, close-set, unfrettable—strummed on the backbeat, and
bass strings: heavy unwound bronze—plucked on the downbeat, joined in rhythmic counterpoint to the
melody string: steel—fretted and deflected aggressively to yield the solo, "vocal" element.

Close-up on sitar
The sitar (shown above) is an example of the vina, having in addition open melody strings, and sympathetic strings: close-set steel, one per tone per raga—reverberation, glissandi, and flourishes.

Invented by Joshua Stanton in 1993, the dobrovina plays Hindustani music using lead-guitar technique in an acoustic format (listen to the dobrovina). Noting the bright overtones of resonator guitars or Dobros* (the Dopyera brothers invented resophonics), the string-roles of the vina were applied: the Dobro-vina was born (shown below).

The Dobrovina
Scallops, octave-posts, deflection pegs, and the "flying jawari " were installed; later, a second headstock and bridge for sympathetic strings.

The dobrovina retains much of the guitar's versatility. Chords and arpeggios enter the lexicon; the field of arrangement widens. The dobrovina presents a true point of identity for Indian and Western music.
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Featured Album

Papa's Blue Genes (2017)

a tribute to Michael Nesmith


Hear the Dobrovina

Raag Yaman is a classical alap—a solo instrumental introduction—that exemplifies the technique of the dobrovina. › Listen...