Classification of musical instruments in India.

GHAN(Sanskrit meaning : Dense)
Pt.Vikku Vinayakram (image courtesy: thehindu.com)
Solid in their structure, these are made of out metal or ceramic. Popular instruments are
Ghatam and Jaltarang. These do not require tuning.




AVANADDHA (Sanskrit meaning: bound on, covered with or tied with)
These are percussion instruments with the playing surface covered with animal skin. Tabla, Mridang and Pakhawaj belong to this category.
These surfaces are also applied with Syahi (on a Tabla) or dough (on a Pakhawaj) to produce the desired sound.


TANTU (Derived from Tat meaning String in Sanskrit)

These are stringed instruments which can be further classified as,
Plucked Using a natural or synthetic plectrum; e.g. Sitar, Veena, Sarod, Santoor.

Bowed: e.g. Sarangi, Dilruba.
     


SUSHIR (Sanskrit meaning: Wind)

These are wind instruments. These can be thought of as having resemblance to the human vocal system. Sound is produced by changing the length of the vibrating air column. Conch (Shankh), popularly used in some temples during rituals, Harmonium("Samwadini" by Pt.Manohar Chimote, "22 Shruti Harmonium" by Dr. Vidyadhar Oke and such variations).


Needless to say, all instruments that play melody are modeled after human voice.


Read more about the history of Indian Classical Music.

Two Men and Music by Janaki Bakhle 


A provocative account of the development of modern national culture in India using classical music as a case study.







Indian Classical Music & Gharana Tradition


This book presents insightful reflections on different aspects of Indian music - its roots, philosophy, growth, history, guru-sishya parampara, gharanas, contemporary scene and a glimpse of the coming decades.

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