String/unstring an instrument


Senior Member
I'm wondering what it means "to string and unstring an instrument"? The phrase comes from a poem "Song unsung" by Rabindranath Tagore.
  • Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    It should also be mentioned that Tagore was of course from India, and so his 'instrument' is likely some kind of Indian instrument such as a sitar. Sitars are not like modern Western instruments: Indian musical traditions dictate that they don't have proper standard tuning, so they require to be constantly retuned depending on which song you wish to play, which can mean readjusting the frets and also the positions of the actual strings too. So if you keep changing your mind about which song you want to play, you must also keep retuning/stringing your sitar to go with your new scale.

    Also, if like me you are inexperienced in the art of sitar tuning, you will likely overstretch the pegs and break all of the strings on your sitar (which you proudly haggled down to only about 10-times its real value on your holiday to India) when you try to tune it for the first time, and thus you will need to completely restring it. But I'm sure that never happened to Tagore :(.