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The sitar (English: // or //; IAST: sitāra) is a plucked stringed instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent, used in Hindustani classical music. The instrument was invented in medieval India, flourished in the 18th century, and arrived at its present form in 19th-century India. Khusrau Khan, an 18th-century figure of the Mughal Empire has been identified by modern scholarship as the inventor of the sitar. According to most historians, he developed the sitar from the setar, an Iranian instrument of Abbasid or Safavid origin. Another view supported by a minority of scholars is that Khusrau Khan developed it from Veena.
(Composite chordophone sounded with a plectrum)
Used widely throughout the Indian subcontinent, the sitar became popularly known in the wider world through the works of Ravi Shankar, beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The advent of Psychedelic culture during the mid- to late 1960s created a trend for the use of the sitar in Western popular music, with the instrument appearing on tracks by bands such as the Beatles, the Doors, the Rolling Stones and others.
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