Predominate in Hindustani music and Indian classical music, the sitar is a plucked stringed instrument that features both played strings and sympathetic strings. Sympathetic strings are not designed to be played directly. The strings complement the tone of the plucked strings with tonal resonance. Popular in the northern and central regions of the South Asian subcontinent, particularly India, the instrument has also been introduced to the West by popular bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. When you buy sitar strings, itís important to know how many played strings and sympathetic strings your sitar requires. Typical sitars feature 18, 19 or 20 strings with six or seven of these strings running over the frets to be played. The remaining strings, or sympathetic strings, run underneath the raised frets and provide resonance. La Bella manufactures an 18-string set, featuring loop ends, seven played strings and 11 sympathetic strings. For stringing convenience, itís recommended to buy sitar strings with loop ends to easily change strings. Using a combination of plain steel sympathetic strings and goldine and plain steel played strings, this high quality sitar string set captures the signature sitar sound.