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Indian Classical Music

Indian music has a long and complex history dating from its
inception, two thousand years ago. There are two basic styles: Hindi,
derived from northern India, and Carnati - from the South. Indian
music is very different from western. Western music is based on
octaves containing 13 different /8 white and 5 black keys on the
piano/. Indian music divides the octave in 22 segments, one segment
represents approximately a quarter tons. Most Indian pieces are
based on a simple melody or raga /traditional scheme in India to
create a melody/. There are many different types Ragga, each with
its own rules and characteristics. Complex rhythms are based on
templates and called thalli. Instruments that occupy a central place in
Indian music is drum, sitar and vina / the last two are strings. For
Europeans hearing Indian music sounds exotic and sometimes
monotonous. For Indians the combination of thalli, ragga and virtuoso
improvisation creates endless musical tapestry.
Indian musical instruments can be broadly classified according to the
HornbostelSachs system into four categories: chordophones (string
instruments), aerophones (wind instruments), membranophones
(drums) and idiophones (non-drum percussion instruments).

Chordophones:
Plucked strings
Bulbul Tarang
Dotar, Dotora, or Dotara
Ektara
Getchu Vadyam or Jhallari
Gopichand or Gopiyantra or Khamak
Gottuvadhyam or Chitravina
Katho
Sarod
Sitar
Surbahar
Surshringar
Swarabat
Swarmandal
Tambura
Tumbi
Tuntuna
Magadi Veena
Hansaveena
Mohan Veena
Nakula Veena
Nanduni
Rudra Veena
Saraswati Veena
Vichitra Veena
Yazh
Ranjan Veena
Triveni Veena

Pulluvan pattu - one stringed violin


Ravanahatha
Folk sarangi
Classical sarangi
Sarinda
Tar shehnai
Other string instruments[
Gethu or Jhallari
Gubguba or Jamuku - Percussion string instrument
Pulluvan kutam
Santoor - Hammered chord box

Aerophones
Single reed
Pepa
Pungi or Been
Double reed
Kuzhal
Nadaswaram
Shehnai
Sundari
Flute
Alghoza - double flute
Bansuri
Tangmuri
Venu (Carnatic flute) Pullanguzhal
flute
Bagpipes
Mashak
Titti
Sruti upanga
Free reed
Gogona
Morsing
Free reed and bellows
Shruti box
Harmonium (hand-pumped)

Bowed strings

Brass

Chikara
Dilruba
Ektara violin
Esraj
Kamaicha
Mayuri Vina or Taus
Onavillu
Behala(violin type)
Pena or Bana

Ekkalam
Karnal
Ramsinga
Kahal
Nagphani
Turi

Membranophones

Thavil
Hand drums
Dhad
Damru
Dimadi
Dhol
Dholak
Dholki
Duggi
Ghat singhari or gada singari
Ghumot
Gummeta
Kanjira
Khol
Kinpar and Dhopar (tribal drums)
Maddale
Maram
Mizhavu
Mridangam
Pakhavaj
Pakhavaj jori - Sikh instrument similar to tabla
Panchamukha vadyam
Pung
Shuddha madalam or Maddalam
Tabala / tabl / chameli - goblet drum
Tabla
Tabla tarang - set of tablas
Tamte
Thanthi Panai
Thimila
Tumbak, tumbaknari, tumbaknaer
Hand frame drums
Daff, duff, daf or duf - medium or large frame drum without jingles, of
Persian origin
Dimdi or dimri - small frame drum without jingles
Kanjira - small frame drum with one jingle
Kansi - small without jingles
Patayani thappu - medium frame drum played with hands
Stick and hand drums
Chenda
Dollu
Dhak
Dhol
Dholi
Idakka
Thavil
Udukai
Stick drums
Chande
Nagara - pair of kettledrums
Pambai - unit of two cylindrical drums
Parai thappu, halgi - frame drum played with two sticks
Sambal
Stick daff or stick duff - daff in a stand played with sticks

Tamak'
Tasha - type of kettledrum
Urumee

Idiophones
Chimpta - fire tong with brass jingles
Chengila - metal disc
Elathalam
Geger - brass vessel
Ghatam and Matkam (Earthenware pot drum)
Ghungroo
Khartal or Chiplya
Manjeera or jhanj or taal
Nut - clay pot
Sankarjang - lithophone
Thali - metal plate
Thattukazhi mannai
Melodic
Jal tarang, ceramic bowls with water
Kanch tarang, a type of glass harp
Kashtha tarang, a type of xylophone
Electronic
Electronic tanpura
Talameter

Classification of Indian Instruments :


Indian Musical Instruments :
It is not known when exactly the early musical instruments came into
existence in India but they find mention in several ancient texts like
the Upanishads, Samhitas, Valmikis Ramayana, Bhagwad Gita and
the Sangam classics.
Many of the instruments mentioned in these texts date back to 5000
BC. It is widely believed that the earliest known Indian instruments
evolved from the Dhanuryantram (bow and arrow) used by primitive
tribes for hunting, as also to signal the advent of the enemy.
Descriptions in the Ramayana and the Mahabharat of the
reverberating sounds of Ramas bow Sharang and Arjuns bow
Gandeeva, which are said to have demoralized the enemy camp,
lend colour to this inference. It is believed that this particular sound
later inspired the design and shape of the bowed instruments used
by primitive tribes. Various types of crude drums and other musical
instruments have been discovered from pre-historic excavations
indicating that the use of music and musical was quite prevalent
during pre-histotic times.
Excavations at the Indus Valley site have revealed many kinds of
musical instruments. These were mainly made of bamboo, bone and
animal skins and bear close resemblance to modern Veena and
Mridangam. Many Greaco-Buddhist sculptures belonging to the
period 5th Century B.C. to 2nd Century A.D. also depict a wealth of
string, wind and percussion instruments.
Accordin to the Natshastra of Bharat, there are four classes of
musical instruments: Tata or Tantu (stringed), Avanaddha (percussion
or drums), Ghana (bells, cymbals and gongs), and Sushira (wind).

While some variations in classifications have been proposed over the


centuries, the system of Bharat has survived to date. The classes of
instruments are divided as follows:
Ghana Vadya (Idiophones)
Avanaddha Vadya (Membranophones)
Sushira Vadya (Aerophones)
Tata Vadya (Chordophones).

Flute, Nadaswaram, Veena, Gootuvadhyam, Thavil, Mridangam and


Plain drum are ancient Indian musical instruments while Harmonium,
Sarod, Shehnai, Sitar, Tabla and Violin are musical instruments very
popular now a days. Veena, Flute, Mridangam, Ghatam, Chenda,
Maddalam, Edakka, Nadaswaram, Khunjira, Tambura,
Gottuvadhyam, Talam and the Morsing (or mukha veena) are popular
Camatic Musical instruments. Violin is also popular in Carnatic music
concerts.