Transcript of This Video
Historically, Sitar playing and most instrumental playing in North Indian music and Hindustani music has been male dominated; and in fact professional music making until about the 40's was not done by women from quote unquote respectable families. It was a different class of people. The songstresses were professional musicians until about the late 30's early 40's.
As far as Sitar goes we see a few pictures of women playing Sitar in the late 19th or early 20th century and we know there are some historical sources and there are some elderly people who remember about women studying Sitar in the 30's in women's colleges. And one or two women who professionally played in the 40's. Instrumental music in general in Indian music Northern or Southern is based on vocal music and our Masters tell us that you can only play as much as you can sing. So it is really important to be able to sing some.
Maybe not be a vocalist but to study vocal music. Many of the compositions refer to vocal compositions and in the case of a plucked instrument like Sitar a separate style has evolved really since the 50's or 60's. But we still can find vocal compositions in what we play. For example: