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Musical Instruments  
 
12
  FLUTE

Flute is the musical instrument of the ancient India, quite synonymous with the name of the Lord Krishna. It belongs to the woodwind family and is also known as the Bansuri. The flute produces the sweet sound and blends well with the other instruments. It is made of the cylindrical bamboo pipe with uniform bore containing six holes and closed at the end. In a flute the sound is produced by blowing against an edge or by an vibrating reed. And in which the pitch governed by the resonant frequencies of an enclosed air column. The person who plays the flute is referred to as the flute player or the flautist. It has been used in India since the Vedic period. It was earlier used to play the religious music of the Buddhists.

 
Veena

Veena is a stringed instrument. It consists of a large body hollowed out of a block of wood. The stem of the instrument is also made of wood. The bridge is placed on the flat top of the body of the veena and the neck attached to the stem is usually carved into weird figure like the head of the dragon. A gourd which is smaller than the rounded part of the body is fixed underneath the neck. Twenty one metallic frets are fixed on the stem by means of a resinous substance.

The veena has seven strings. Of them four are main strings that pass over the frets and are attached to the pegs of the neck. The other strings are used as side strings for rhythmic accompaniment. These strings pass over an arched bridge made of brass. They lie flat over the top of the body and are secured to the main bridge.

The veena is played by sitting cross-legged upon the floor and holding the veena in front. The small gourd on the left touch the left thigh, the left arm passing round the stem so that the fingers rest easily upon the frets. The main body of the instrument is placed on the ground, partially supported by the right thigh.

There are different varieties of veena. Some of them are Mahanataka veena, Saraswati veena, Rudra veena, Vichitra veena etc. Saraswati veena is known as the queen of veena's.

MRIDANGAM

Mridangam is a South Indian version of the pakhawaj. It bears a strong superficial resemblance to pakhawaj but there are major differences in construction and technique. The tone of the instrument is quite different. This is due to differences in construction.

The construction of the mridangam is interesting. It has heavy annular membrane around the right side, and a number of pieces of straw which are placed radially between the annular membrane and the main membrane. The right side has a permanent application, known as soru orkaranai. The left side uses a mixture of flour and water to provide a proper tone. This application must be removed after each performance. The lacing and heads are all placed upon a barrel shaped wooden shell. The wood is usually of jackwood.

TABLA

The tabla has an interesting construction. The dayan (right hand drum) is almost always made of wood. The diameter at the membrane may run from just under five inches to over six inches. The bayan (left hand drum) may be made of iron, aluminum, copper, steel, or clay; yet brass with a nickel or chrome plate is the most common material. Undoubtedly the most striking characteristic of the tabla is the large black spot on each of the playing surfaces. These black spots are a mixture of gum, soot, and iron filings. Their function is to create the bell-like timbre that is characteristic of the instrument.

Saxophone


The saxophone (also referred to as the sax) is a conical-bored transposing musical instrument that is a member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. The saxophone was invented by the Belgian Adolphe Sax in 1841. He wanted to create an instrument that would both be the most powerful and vocal of the woodwinds and the most adaptive of the brass, which would fill the then vacant middle ground between the two sections. He patented the sax in 1846 in two groups of seven instruments each. Each series consisted of instruments of various sizes in alternating transposition. The series pitched in B♭ and E♭, designed for military bands, has proved extremely popular and most saxophones encountered today are from this series. A few saxophones remain from the less popular orchestral series pitched in C and F. These instruments never gained a foothold in the orchestral world. Although the C-melody was quite popular in the late 20's and early 30's as a parlor instrument it never gained a legitimate standing. The instruments keyed in "F" are rare. While proving very popular in its intended niche of military band music, the saxophone is most commonly associated with popular music, big band music, blues, early rock and roll, ska and particularly jazz. There is also a substantial repertoire of concert music in the classical idiom for the members of the saxophone family. Saxophone players are called saxophonists.

 
 
SITAR
TABALA
SHEHNAI
HARMONIUM
GETTUVADYAM
GITAR
SAROD
FLUTE
VEENA
MRIDANGAM
NAGASWARAM
PIANO
TABLA
SAXOPHONE
CHENDA
VIOLIN
TAMBURA
 
 
 
 
     
 
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Famous instrumentalists
Zakir Hussain
G. Ramakrishnan
Ali Akbar Khan
Hariprasad Churasiaya
Kadri Gopalnath
Ustad Allarakha
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Pandit Ravi Shankar
Ustad Bismillah Khan Sahib
Pandit R K Bijapure Maha Meru
N. Muralikrishnan
L. Subramaniam
 
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