Musical Instruments

Dholak:

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It is small percussive instrument often used by women and professional musicians. The main body of the dholak is a shell made of wood and the heads are mounted with skin.

A rope or thread is passed around the shell and over braces to adjust the pitch of sound produced by striking the faces of the skin. Hands are used produce beats. Sometimes, two sticks are tied to a finger or a ring is put around the thumb to produce an additional musical effect.

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Dhol:

This is a two-sided drum, played with two small wooden sticks. A barrel-shaped wooden drum is covered with skin on both sides. There are numerous varieties of this instrument. It is used on the occasions of marriages, festivals, wrestling matches, dance-performances, etc.

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Damru:

This is a very small drum, shaped like an hourglass. It is an attribute of Lord Shiva who is said to have played it during his Tandava Nritya (Cosmic Dance). It is used as an accompaniment for devotional and ritualistic folk music, especially in Gugga dance. It is also associated with magic shows by jugglers

deru

Deru:

Deru is percussive instrument like dholak made of wooden shell and skin-mounted on both of its sides. In fact, it is a large damru, which is struck with sticks to produce rhythmic beats. It is used by folk performers as well as by wandering devotees.

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Chimta:

It is tong-like instrument made of two long metallic strips which are joined on one side. The strips are often embellished with rings, which produce tinkling sounds when the chimta is played. To produce percussive sounds, one holds the joint in one hand and plays strips between the fingers by striking one with the other. The chimta is used as an accompaniment in folk musical performances.

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Been:

This wind instrument is mostly used by snake charmers. Two small bamboo pipes are fixed in a hollow gourd. One keeps the drone of the basic note, producing a monotone, and the other one is used for producing tunes by the performer. The player blows into the gourd and his fingers move smoothly on the finger-holes of this double-reed instrument. It is used in many folk dance performances.

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Manjira:

This is a pair of metallic cymbals used for producing rhythm. It produces a pleasant sound and is used mostly as accompaniment to devotional music and more frequently during dance performances. It is also used by Jogis of 'Naath Parampara' during their prayers.

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Harmonium:

A musical instrument with keys, metal reeds and bellows. It is played by using the bellows to force air through the reeds, which are opened by putting fingers over the keys.

Gharah:

Also called the matka. It is a simple earthen pitcher and is used as an accompaniment to provide rhythm with folk singing. The open mouth is covered with stretched rubber and played with a small stick. Raagni singers often use it with Nagara and Dholak to complement the musical beat.

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Saarangi:

This is also a string instrument played with a bow, which is made of long strand or strands of animal hair, fixed on a bow-shaped stick. This instrument takes a prominent place as an accompaniment to the main singer. It is about 60 centimeters long, made by hollowing out a single block of wood. For tuning, four pegs are fixed in it to set the strings according to the pitches of twelve semi-tones. Some sarangis have thirty-five to forty sympathetic strings running under the four main strings. It has for long been a folk instrument used by the common people, particularly the bards for their simple music. In the seventeenth century the sarangi was considered a suitable accompaniment to the new style of classical music. In Haryana, this instrument is seen with some wandering bards as an accompaniment to singing their folk songs. It is also used during a swaang performance (rural theatre).

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Khartals:

These are wooden cymbals having two pieces of hard wood, which are made flat on one side and round on the other. Fixed in the fingers of one hand, the flat surfaces are struck with each other to produce, percussive. Sometimes, small bells or metallic rings are also fixed at the back of each khartal to produce a tinkling effect.

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Shehnai:

This is a common instrument, seen on occasions of marriages. This is also a wind instrument. The modern experts have brought to this instrument a fluidity comparable to that of a stringed instrument .

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Bansuri:

This is one of the earliest wind-instruments called by many other popular names like veena and murli. Seven round holes are bored in a hollow piece of bamboo stick. There are several varieties of this instrument, some are held straight, away from the face, while others are held transversely, parallel to the eye-brows as was used by Lord Krishna.