The sitar (English: /ˈsɪtɑːr/ or /sɪˈtɑːr/IASTsitāra) is a plucked stringed instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent, used in Hindustani classical music. The instrument was invented in medieval India and flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries and arrived at its present form in 18th-century India.

Used widely throughout the Indian subcontinent, the sitar became popularly known in the wider world through the works of Ravi Shankar, beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s.[1] In the 1960s, a short-lived trend arose for the use of the sitar in Western popular music, with the instrument appearing on tracks by bands such as the Beatlesthe Doorsthe Rolling StonesMetallica and others.