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Strange musical instruments of India
Music-the divine nector
Music is loved by all. Different human communities in the world have developed their own music styles.To add to the effect of music, people have invented different musical instruments.From tribal people to educated one-they have devoted their time and efforts to design various musical instruments to suit their vocal music.
Strange Indian instruments
The world knows about some common Musical instruments invented and used by Indians. But there are many other such instruments that are peculiar in design used by less number of musicians, as they are very sensitive, and playing them needs special skill and dedication.
Some such instruments are introduced here.
This is one type of veena that could be played only by those who arespecially trained in it. 'Makara' means crocodile.Front of the instrument has the shape of the crocodile face.(third photo from top, on the right side)This is a stringed instrument.
This is also a stringed instrument, another type of veena,with a scorpion face.(first and second photoes alongside).See the strings are are tied longitudinally, instead of horizontally which is the characteristic of Normal veena.
This is a dwarf instrument with melodious sound production. This is usually used for Hindustani music style.Sometimes( as seen in the photograph) a small horn is fixed to its bottom to amplify the sound.This came into use during Mughal period
A stringed instrument used to maintain 'shruthi' in a music consort.It has 4 strings. But here you are seeing rare tanburas which have two and three longitudinal arms. they are called 'Dwi dandi tanbura' and ' Tridandi tanbura' respectively.Those who play these are very rare now a days.
Face of this veena resembles that of a peacock. Hence this name. This is played keeping horizontally just like a normal veena.
Mridangam is a percussion instrument used by musicians both in south and north India.That is made up of a sort of wood at the end of which usually goat skin is tanned at fixed.Center part of the body is wider and the ends are little narrower.
But, there is a mridangam at' Raja Dinakar Kelkar museum'Pune(Maharashtra state,India)whose body is made of glass.The quality of sound naturally differs when the material is changed. It is not known (as it is not much used) what kind of sound it produces and how it is used.
There are many other such instruments which appear strange to western sight. Sitar, Santoor(Shatatantri veena ) etc, are among such instruments.
Music is a fine art. But, producing musical instruments is a science. Presence of hundreds of such worthy musical instruments show how intelligent were Indians in designing these instruments. One can appreciate them only on seeing them in action.
Photographs here are taken at 'Raja Dinakar Kelkar museum ' Pine, with permission during my visit there in April, 2011.
There are many such musical instruments for display at various museums in India.But one at Kelkar museum is extraordinaryIt is wirth seing.It is quite educative..
At the bottom is another wonderful and rare instrument.It is "Panch Tabla' or 'Five Tablas' attached to a single base.Experts who could play this instrument are also rarely found in the country now.