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Musical instruments

Percussion Instruments

a cylindrical drum, in use in Kerala. Is used as an accompaniment in Kathakali perfromances.

Damaru: a cylindrical drum used by Lord Shiva - knotted strings are made to beat on the membrane

Dholak: similar to Pambai in Tamilnadu - membrane covered on both sides - played with both hands

Ghatam (solid): this is a solid instrument, made of clay. Metal filings are mixed with clay. The artiste holds the pot to his belly while playing.

Kanjira: has a round wooden frame, over which a piece of membrane is stretched. There are coins or bells strung to slits which produces an additional pleasing resonance

Khol: similar to mridangam of the South is in use in Bengal

Mridangam: known to be made of clay originally, is now made out of jackwood . Shaped as a hollow cyliner, with one end of larger diameter than the other. On the right side, a paste of cooked rice and iron oxide or manganese is applied. Plays a major role in classcial conerts

Nagara: has two pieces, the smaller one the female placed on the right and the bigger one the male placed on the left. Used in the North for religious ceremonies and as an accompaniment for dance (Chhau)

Pakhawaj: is similar to mridangam of the South. It is used as an accompaniment to classical music and dance (Odissi)

Pung: is a drum and is used as an accompaniment in Manipuri dance form

Tabla: has two pieces, denoting the male and female sides. Is used as an accompaniment to vocal music

There are other metallic instruments which are mostly used in temples or as accompaniment to music and dance. Some of these are Manjira, Tal, Jhanj, Temple bells, Gongs, Ghungroo