a reinterpretation of  instrument ‘ektara’


‘sukhtara’ designed by arnab patra is a modern interpretation of bengali folk musical instrument ektara. the indian designer sought to redesign the classic ektara that has been ‘the morning star of bengali folk music’. the goal of the one-string instrument was to become a source of spontaneous happiness (‘sukh’ means happiness), generating a smooth delightful experience for the folk musicians. and this way this old instrument could earn acceptability to the entire music world.


‘there are so many similarities in the folk instruments across india as well as outside india, basically in the plucked and stringed instruments. so we can easily identify that the basic understanding behind sound production and the formation of the instruments are the same for all, but there is a huge difference in decorative forms, materials, playing styles,’ mentioned the designer.sukhtara: a modern interpretation of traditional music instrument ektaraall images by arnab patra



a modern version of ektara in better execution


the indian designer sought to create a modern version of ektara to overcome the issues this traditional musical instrument has — its sound degenerates over time. the classic ektera’s tunning peg and box are usually made of bamboo. but through time, due to friction, the hole gets bigger and therefore the peg becomes loose. so that the sound is deformed. furthermore, the instrument doesn’t own a bridging system to hold the string in a single place during playing, thus the sound can’t come out clearly.


following the elemental hierarchy of folk music instruments and respecting the emotional connection between people and their culture, ‘sukhtara’ — utilizing modern technologies, forms, and materials — solves the aforementioned problems.

sukhtara: a modern interpretation of traditional music instrument ektara 

sukhtara: a modern interpretation of traditional music instrument ektarasukhtara: a modern interpretation of traditional musical instrument ektara




project info:


name: sukhtara

designer: arnab patra, master of design at IIT guwahati

guided by: professor amarendra kumar das