Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Musical Instruments of India

In this Lesson about the Music of India, our objectives are the following:

1.Aurally and Visually recognize the different Musical Instruments from India.
2.Identify the Different Musical Instruments of India according to their classification.

Musical Instruments as what they say are extensions of our body. In just a simple gesture of clapping man has been able to utilize the skill and made an external form of self expression by the inventions of these musical Instruments. Man tried to unlock the limited potential of our body in creating another medium of transmission through the Instruments.
Musical Instruments are found everywhere, the raw materials being woven, heated, toasted, stretched and many more are examples of how infinite music can be. Each country has its own musical instruments depending on the availability of the resources or raw materials. In this way also, India, a country rich in culture and natural resources have come up with their unique and ancient characteristics in terms of the arts.

Musical Instruments played a major part in shaping Indian music. And these musical Instruments comprises of both modern and ancient ones.

Before proceeding let us study first the different classification of musical instruments.

Chordophones - these are musical Instruments in which the source of sound is by the use of Strings.
Aerophones - these are musical Instruments in which the primary source of sound is by the use of air.
Idiophones - these are musical Instruments which is made up metal and the primary source of sound can
                         either be by beating or use of air.
Membranophones - these are musical instruments which is made up of stretched animal skin or membrane
                                these musical instruments can be sounded by beating the membrane or skin.
Electrophones - musical instruments which is made up of capacitors and integrated circuits, where the sound
                         can be produced by the use of electricity.

In India, the most important musical Instruments are the Tambura, Tabla, Sitar.

The Sitar - carries the melodic parts.
The Tabla - carries the Rhythm.
The Tambura - carries the drone effect.

The musical Instruments of India are divided into 2 groups they are as follows:
1. Melodic Musical Instruments
    Melodic Instuments are subdivided into Plucked ( tat), bowed (vitat), Wind blown ( sushir), membranous (avanadoh) and Non-membranous ( ghan).

                Stringed                                    Wind                                       Bellowed
   Bowed  - Violin                                   Clarinet                                   Harmonium
                  Tambura                               Flute                                       Sruti-peti
                  Veena                                  Ottu                                        
                  Gottudyam                           Nagaswaram

2. Rhythmic or Percussion

                   Mridangam, Ghatam, Kanjira, Moorsing, Tavil, Jalra

Percussion Instruments of India


* Popular and common drum in North India
* Pair drums, one for the left and and other for the right hand.
* Made of wood and stretched animal skin
* A membranophone


 * Drum of South India
*This is originally made up of clay
*Barrel shaped and double headed
*place between the thighs of the player
* used to perform tala

 String Instruments


*From southern India
*has several strings that functions differently
*4 strings are used to play the melody and the other 3 strings to play the drone.


* It is a drone instrument
*Essential for classical perfomances
*held upright and placed on the lap of the players


*Used in accompanying vocal music
*Squashed like guitar
*It has no frets and it is played by a bow


* Most popular stringed instrument in north India
* It has long neck and 20 metal frets and 6 main strings
* used for solo parts


* This is much smaller than the sitar
* plucked with a piece of coconut shell

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