Video NewsSilk Road radioPostcards from the road Maps
Music & Artists

Sandeep Das playing tabla, kneeling on a platform in front of schoolchildren at the Art Institute of Chicago


Unique Musical Experiences
Silk Road Ensemble member Sandeep Das (above) demonstrates the tabla to a group of schoolchildren at the Art Institute of Chicago. The Silk Road Project is committed to providing educational opportunities for audiences of all ages.



orig. Europe  The contrabass, or double bass, is the largest and lowest-pitched instrument in the Western orchestral string family. It is a key component of classical composition, but also forms the auditory backbone of jazz, blues, rock, bluegrass and tango, among other musical traditions.

Generally thought to be a descendent of the 15th-century viola da gamba group of string instruments, the contrabass has four steel or gut strings that can be plucked or played with a horsehair bow. The instrument may be played from either a standing or sitting position, and the height is adjusted with the endpin, which rests on the ground.

Together with its offspring, the electric bass, the contrabass is now a mainstay of musical traditions around the world.