Instruments

Tanpura

The Tanpura is a multi-stringed instrument which provides the background drone sound. A Tanpura player plucks the 4 strings in a cyclic pattern. The second and the third strings are tuned to the base Swar (Sa) of the Madhya Saptak, the fourth and the thicker string is tuned to “Sa” of the lower Saptak. The first string is tuned to...

Swar Mandal

Just like the Tanpura, a Swar Mandal is a multi-stringed instrument which the vocalist plucks during the vocal performance. Each string in the Swar Mandal is tuned to a different Swar, according to the Raag the vocalist is going to sing. Strings are tuned in the descending sequence of the Raag. For example, if the vocalist is going to sing Yaman,...

Harmonium

Harmonium was originally brought to India in the mid-19th century by the French missionaries. The instrument gained acceptance and popularity because of its simplicity and ease of use. A harmonium makes it possible to cover 3 to 4 Saptaks. A harmonium consists of banks of brass reeds (metal tongues which vibrate when air flows over them), a...

Sarangi

Sarangi is a multi-string instrument, about 2 feet long and about 6 inches wide, containing approximately 40 strings. A Sarangi player uses a heavy horsehair bow to play 3 main strings. The remaining strings are resonance strings. The word “Sarangi” literally means “Sau” (hundred) “Rang” (colors). True to its...

Tabla

Tabla is a drum set consisting of 2 drums. The one on the right side of the percussionist (also known as “Tabla Nawaz”) is called “Daya” or “Tabla” and the one on the left is called “Baya” or “Dagga”. The “Daya” is a cylindrical wooden drum about 9-10 inches tall with a head...