Thursday, May 24, 2007

Musical Instruments in Indian Dance

Tabala is an instrument which has its own compositions along with richness and virtuosity that have made it favourite with artistes and listeners alike. The tabla is a pair of drums in which each drum is played by one hand each. The 'right-hand' drum, called the dayan, is a conical drum-shell carved out of a solid piece of hard wood. The "left-hand' drum, cfalled the bayan, is a hemispherical bowl-shaped drum made of polished copper, bRaass, bronze or clay.

Sitar has been India's most favoured Indian classical string instrument for more than a century. Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Vilayat Khan have made the sitar famous in the West for the last fifty years. A sitar has a long neck, twenty metal frets, and six to seven main strings with thirteen sympathetic strings running below the neck. The lower end of the neck has a gourd that acts as a resonator.
Today the sitar is the most popular musical instrument in north India and many classical dances are incomplete without it.

Sarod has originated from the Senya rebab, an Indo-Persian instrument played in India from the 16th to the 19th century.

It is popular stringed instrument of Hindustani music. The body is carved from a single piece of well-seasoned teakwook and the belly is covered with goatskin. There are four main strings, six rhythm and drone strings and fifteen sympathetic strings-all made of metal. These are played by striking with a plectrum made of a coconut shell.

Sarani is an instrument whose versatility cannot be doubted. It is regarded as one of the most ancient and difficult stringed instruments to play. The name is derived from the word saurangi, which means 'hundred-coloured', describing its ability to convey a wide range of moods and emotion. Most of the sarangis have three gut playing strings, eleven sympathetic strings tuned on the notes of a raga, and the least twenty-five sympathetic strings. There are as many as sixty variations of the instrument.

Santoor is a Persian instrument introduced in Indian classicfal music during the 15th century. It was originally known as shata-tanatri-veena or 'hundred-stringedlute'. It is a flat instrument made of a wooden box, which has thirty ofr forty groups of three iron strings, played with two metal forks. When used for playing Indian classical music, the santoor is played with a pair of curved mallets fashioned out of walnut wood and the resultant melodies are reminiscent of music on the piano, or harp or the harpsichord.

Bansuri with its pastoral association and as the chosen instrument of Lod Krishna, is one of the oldest musical instruments of India. A favourite of light music, it has recently been used for classical music. The bansuri is a transversa alto flute made of a single length of bamboo and has six or seven open finger-holes. There are no keys to produce sharps and flats. Therefore, all accidentals and microtones are produced by a unique fingering technique.

Musical Instruments in Indian Dance
Bamboo Flute

Common Props in Indian Dance
Bamboo Sticks

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