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Suvaranaragam Musicals

Mridangam

Musical Instruments

  • Mridangam, also spelled mrdangam, mridanga, or mrdanga, two-headed drum played in Karnatak music of southern India. It is made of wood in an angular barrel shape, having an outline like an elongated hexagon. Thong hoops around each end of the drum, leather thong lacing, and small wooden dowels slipped under the lacings control the skin tension.
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A removable patch of tuning paste is affixed to each end, giving the drum a definite pitch. The left head is usually tuned an octave lower than the right. The drum is held across the lap and played on both ends with the hands and fingers. A similar instrument, the pakhavaj, is played in the Hindustani tradition of northern India, as well as in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

*Key to hand and finger positions: R – right hand (all four fingers) L – left hand (all four fingers) Ri – right index finger R3 – middle, ring & small fingers together Lesson 1: Ta Di Thom Nam/Nam Thom Di Ta *Ta: L centre (of drumhead) Di: R3 centre Thom: L top (of drumhead) Nam: Ri top Lesson 2: Ta Ta Di Di Thom Thom Nam Nam/Nam Nam Thom Thom Di Di Ta Ta Lesson 3: Ta kita Di kita Thom kita Nam kita Nam kita Thom kita Di kita Ta kita *ki: R3 centre ta: Ri centre Lesson 4: Ta kita kita taka Di kita kita taka Thom kita kita taka Nam kita kita taka Nam kita kita taka Thom kita kita taka Di kita kita taka Ta kita kita taka *Taka ta= L centre and ka= R3 centre Lesson 5: diku tari kita taka (referred to as D in future lessons is an important and commonly used connecting phrase). * di=Ri centre ku=L centre ta=R3 top ri=L top ki=R3 centre ta= Ri centre ta=L centre ka=R3 centre Lesson 6: Ta kita kita taka D Di kita kita taka D Thom kita kita taka D Nam kita kita taka D Nam kita kita taka D Thom kita kita taka D Di kita kita taka D Ta kita kita taka D Lesson 7: naka tari kita taka (another connecting phrase) * na=Ri top ka=L top ta=R3 centre ri=Ri centre ki=R3 centre ta=Ri centre ta=L centre ka=R3 centre Lesson 8: Ta kita kita taka D naka tari kita taka D Di kita kita taka D naka tari kita taka D Thom kita kita taka D naka tari kita taka D Nam kita kita taka D naka tari kita taka D Nam kita kita taka D naka tari kita taka D Thom kita kita taka D naka tari kita taka D Di kita kita taka D naka tari kita taka D Ta kita kita taka D naka tari kita taka D Lesson 9: Ta kita taka Ta kita taka tarikita Ta kita tarikita D *tarikita= ta=L top ri=R3 centre ki=Ri centre ta=R3 centre Lesson 10: (Combine 8 & 9) Ta kita kita taka D naka tari kita taka D Ta kita taka Ta kita taka tarikita Ta kita tarikita D (Also use Di, Thom and Nam…..)

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