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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

About Our Instruments

Tabla: The major percussion instrument of North Indian music. Consists of two drums commonly known as dayan and bayaan. The tabla is used in accompaniment with all the major classical genres and also with folk music.

Tanpura. Stringed instrument which provides a drone. The drone acts as a reference point. The tanpura is often mistaken with the sitar. The major difference between the two is that the sitar contains frets.

Pakhawaj. Double barreled percussion instrument used in accompaniment to dhrupad.

Harmonium. Reed instrument, uses a keyboard for note reproduction. The harmonium is now gaining popularity over the sarangi as an accompanying instrument to classical music.

Sitar. Popular stringed instrument. Gained prominence during the 18thcentury. The instrument is plucked with a plectrum known as mizrab, whilst the other hand operates the main fretted board.

Sarangi. Bowed string instrument which is used as accompaniment to khayal, thumri, and ghazal forms of music. Sadly almost extinct in Pakistan due to its difficult nature and association with the courtesan tradition.

Bansuri. Wind instrument used mainly as a solo instrument in classical music due to the efforts of the late Pandit Pannalal Ghosh.

Swarmandal. Zitther harp, the strings are tuned to the notes of the raag to provide an ambience of the raag.

Santoor. A Persian instrument, belonging to the Dulcimer family of instruments. Uses little wooden hammers to strike the strings.

Sarod. Developed from the rabab. The metal fingerboard is fretless and a coconut wood plectrum is used to strike the strings

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