Sunday, October 10, 2010

LALA KEVAL KISHAN JI GHARANA











Like Punjab, Bengal also had a glorious period when Pakhawaj was at its peak stage. The style of Pakhawaj before partition of Bengal was divided into 3 main parampara’s (Gharana or Style):-


     1. Lala Keval Kishanji Parampara from Braj, Mathura
     2. Vishnupur Gharana
     3. Dhaka Gharana

According to the research book “Pakhawaj Aur Tabla Ke Gharane Aeivam Paramparayein” written by Dr. Aban E. Mistry; Lala Keval Kishanji belonged to Braj Mathura. He was the second son of Kodhia ji (approx 17th Century), was the founder of kodhia Gharana. Lala Keval Kishan ji used to travel all over India and spent most of his precious time in Lucknow and mostly in Bengal. According to Shri Chedaram ji of Mathura, Keval Kishanji was Guru of Lala Bhawani Din.
           
Lala Keval Kishan ji gave perfect guidance to three brilliant students in Bengal- Nimai Chakroborty, Ramchandra Chakraborty and Nitai Chakraborty. Due to extreme hard work of these three Chakraborty brothers Pakhawaj is still alive in Bengal till today. Slowly and gradually there were more excellent performers in this parampara.
After the three Chakraborty brothers Mridangacharya Murari Mohan Gupta spread this tradition to his students namely- Mridangacharya Durlava Chandra Bhattacharya (Dulli Babu), Pt.Keshav Chandra Mitra, Pt. Devendra Nath Dey, Nandi Bhatt, Sawami Vivekananda and many more.
           
1878 of March Kolkata was gifted with an icon in Lala Keval Kishan ji Gharana; Mridangacharya Durlava Chandra Bhattacharya (Dulli Babu). He belonged to the family of great Shaastrakaar’s , a very learned Brahmin family. His father ‘Vidyaratna’ Pt. Nandalal Bhattacharya was a famous Shaastrakaar. Dulli Babu’s ancestral home was at Santragachi, dist. Howrah. Dulli babu were 6 brothers and 2 sisters, he was the youngest among all. He went under the tutelage of Mridangacharya Murari Mohan Gupta when he was young about 20yrs. Old. Dulli babu and Swami Vivekananda were their guru’s favourite student. Dulli Babu organized a yearly program “ Murari Sangeet Sammelan” and continued organizing till 30yrs.  On 12th of October 1938, we lost an excellent personality from Bengal; he died while performing in a program “Nikhil Banga Sangeet Sammelan” organized by Shri Bhupendra Nath Ghosh. Dulli babu had sincere and brilliant students mainly – Pt. Ghanashyam Bhattacharya (Nephew), Pt. Pratap Narayan Mitra, Pt. Haradhan Pal, Pt. Jitendra Nath Sandra and many more.
           
 Presently Lala Keval Kishan ji Parampara of Bengal has the last icon from the traditional family, Pt. Chanchal Kumar Bhattacharya; grandson of Mirdangacharya Durlava Chandra Bhattacharya. Chanchal Ji learned with his uncle( kaka) Pt. Ghanashyam Bhattacharya, Pt. Pratap Narayan Mitra and Pt. Haradhan Pal. Chanchal ji  worked as lecturer in Rabindra Bharati University and also as Sr. Lecturer (Pakhawaj) in Visva-Bharati University, Shantiniketan. He also learned Tabla under the guidance of Pt. Krishna Kumar Ganguly (Natu Babu) Banaras Gharana. These days he travels to Kolkata his ancestral house and his own flat in Shantiniketan. Like his grandfather Dulli Babu, he gives his energy and Knowledge without taking any fees and practices Pakhawaj for Lord Shiva, rest of the retired time he spends with his students. Some of his excellent students are:-



Late Partho Protim Majhumdar
Shri Tapas Sarkar
Dr. Hindol Bhattacharya
Vaishali Dutta
Shri Debashis Mukherjee
Dr. Nivedita Bhattacharya
Dr. Partho Chowdhary
Shri. Shubroto Pal
Shri.Debu Mukherjee
Shri Biswajit Bhattacharya
Shri Dimadob Kritaniya
Shri.Nayak Chandra Boral
Shri.Pullock Dutta
Shri.Chandan Bhattacharya
Shri.Arun Bhattacharya
Shri.Debasish Hazra
Shri Kuntal Mukherjee
Shri Nishaant Singh
Shri Arnab Batabayal



The Pakhawaji's of the Lala Keval Kishan Gharana




Friday, October 1, 2010

Pt. Chanchal Kr. Bhattacharya playing Solo Pakhawaj at Rabindra Bharati University.
Pt. Chanchal Kr. Bhattacharya at Rabindra Bharati University, Sarangi Accompaniment- Pt. Ramesh Mishra.


to watch Chanchal ji's Vedio :-    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN_a2XB4MU0
The Aadi Guru Mridangacharya Murari Mohan Gupta . Guru of Mridangacharya Durlava Chandra Bhattacharya and Swami Vivekananda
Late Mridangacharya Durlava Chandra Bhattacharya an icon of Lala Keval Kishan ji Gharana (Bengal).


                                 1878 of March Kolkata was gifted with an icon of Lala Kewal Kishan ji Gharana, Mridangacharya Durlava Chandra Bhattacharya(Dulli Babu). He belonged to the family of great Shaastrakaar’s , a very learned Brahmin family. His father ‘Vidyaratna’ Pt. Nandalal Bhattacharya was a famous Shaastrakaar. Dulli Babu’s ancestral home was at Santragachi, dist. Howrah. Dulli babu were 6 brothers and 2 sisters, he was the youngest among all. He went under the tutelage of Mridangacharya Murari Mohan Gupta when he was young about 20yrs. Old. Dulli babu was his guru’s favourite student so he used to travel with his guru for accompaniment and solo programs. Duli babu was also a brilliant Tabla player. He was enthusiastic, honest and promising artiste, who never thought music as job or business. He used to teach students without taking any fees and polished lots of pakhawaj performers. He also organized yearly Dhrupad programs in dedication of his guru Mridangacharya Murari Mohan Gupta, in front of his house at Shiv Narayan Das lane, Kolkata. He organized this yearly program and continued organizing till 30yrs.
                                On 12th of October 1938, we lost an excellent personality from Bengal, he died while performing in a program “Nikhil Banga Sangeet Sammelan” organized by Shri Bhupendra Nath Ghosh.





Swami Vivekananda was Guru Bhai of Mridangacharya Dulli Babu diciple of Mridangacharya Murari Mohan Gupta

(Painted under the direction of renowned Tabla exponent Pt. Nikhil Ghosh)

The multi- dimensional personality of Swami Vivekananda has always been an inspiration for us all over the world. He lived only 39 years and revolutionized the world with his powerful personality and prophecy for the future of India as well as the future of human civilization at large. Vivekananda was undoubtedly an appreciator and a performer of classical music. In 1887, when Vivekananda was only 24 years old, he co-edited and published a Bengali song anthology named Sangeet Kalpataru. Swami Vivekananda himself was a trained singer (though not professional). He received his classical music training from Kashi Ghoshal, Beni Ostad (his original name was Beni Gupta) and Mridangacharya Murari Mohan Gupta. In late 1881 in the first meeting between Ramakrishna and Vivekananda (then known as Narendranath Datta), Narendra Nath sang few devotional songs. His trained voice and his devotion towards music highly impressed Ramakrishna, which was followed by a cordial invitation to visit Dakshineswar. Ramkrishnabuwa Vaze, a renowned singer recorded that he had heard and learned a dhrupad from Swami Vivekanand who was well-versed in forms like the khyal, devotional bhajans as well as tappa. In Ramakrishna Kathamitra, we find Ramakrishna repeatedly requesting Narendra Nath to sing. The same book also shows us while listening to Narendra's song Ramakrishna is going into trance. 

 In Swami Vivekananda’s article “ Sangeet-O-Badya” is indeed a scientific exposition of music in those early days when science itself was not developed as it is now. Narendranath explained the origin of sound its vibration, its dynamic composition, its properties and other aspects with an extraordinary reflection in light of science and in an easy language so as to be understandable by any ordinary person. The said article is the mirror of Narendranath’s opulent and in depth knowledge in music. He has explained about the raga and ragini, he explained about the tuning up of the instruments those are commonly used with vocal music. He explained different rhythms and its innumerable formations which is usually unleashed through the talent of musician. The book was published one year after the demise of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna. The original book contained 646 songs printed on 495 pages published in the year 1887. Shri Baishnab Charan Basak was the publisher, according to Swami Sarvagananda Maharaj

The first part of the book was having an introductory note “ Sangeet O Badya”, while the second part of the book was a compilation of various kind of songs like National Songs, Religious Songs, Mythological Songs, Social Songs, love Songs and miscellaneous Songs. The third part of the book consisted of the short lives of the poets and spiritual ascetics like Chandi Das, Govind Das, Kavi Ranjan Ramprasad Sen, ramnidhi Gupta, Kamalakanta Bhattacharya, Rammohan Roy, Pyari Mohan ‘Kavi Ratna’, Wajid Ali Shah, Kabir, Girish Chandra Ghosh, Jyotindranath Thakur, Tansen, Tulsidas, Trailokyanath Sanyal, Dwijendranath Thakur, Neelkantha Mukkhopadhyay, Harish Chandra Mitra, Hem Chandra bandhopadyay and many more. At the end of first part Narendranath inserted elaborate Bol Bani of different Taala i.e. meters played on Pakhawaj or Tabla. Due to his personal taleem in Pakhawaj under the guidance of Mridangacharya Murari Mohan Gupta Swami ji had compiled many bol bani’s from the Lala Keval Kishan Gharana and written in this book. Swamiji has started the first part of the Bol Baani section with Choutaal Theka along with Fifty one Bol Parans. There are other Taalas like Surfaktaal which contains 13 Bol Parans, Dhamaar contains 8 Bol Parans, Aadachoutaal contains 15 Bol Parans, Aadaa Taal contains 16 Bol Parans, TriTaali contains 9 Bol Parans, EkTaal contains 30 Bol Parans, Tiwat Taal contains 8 Bol Parans, Jhanptaal contains 9 Bol Parans. 

The Bol Parans have been compiled from different Taals and recorded in an Audio Album format produced by the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark, Kolkata in the year 2014. The book Sangeet Kalpataru was re-edited by Dr. Sarbananda Chaudhuri in the year 2000 and while re- editing the book he gradually caught interest in extracting the Bol Parans and reveal the secrets in an audio format, so in mass, people would get the wonderful opportunity to hear the unrevealed extinct Bol Parans of the Lala Keval Kishan Gharana which Swami ji had learned from his Guru Mridangacharya Murari Mohan Gupta.

Here are two examples of Bol Paran extracted from Sangeet Kalpataru written by Swami ji. The original version of the Paran is written in Vishnu Digambar Paluskar style which was the only way to write notations during that period. I have tried to write the same notation in the new form of Bhatkhande Notation system which is the simplest way to read and understand in this present day. 



Kredhe Stkre I DheSt Ghege I Thete  Kata I Gadi Ghene I Taage Dheth I DhaS Thereketetaka I
X                     0                    2                   0                    3                    4

Dhaga  SDi I Ghene Naga I Kataa kathS I Therekete Tagataga I Taaga Taaga I Dig Daaga I
X                  0                  2                    0                                3                   4
     
Dhaage DinS I Daana Naana I Kata Kathere I Kete Taagtag I DhaaS Kredhaa I SNe Dhaa I
X                    0                     2                     0                     3                        4

Dhage DinS I Daana Naana I Takkaa Thungga I Katthere ketetaka I Dherekete ketetaga I 
X                  0                     2                          0                             3                               

Dherekete Dherekete I Dha
4                                 x



     


Dhere kete I Dhere Kete I Dhere Kete I Dhere Kete I Dhet Dhet I Dhere Kete I
X                  0                  2                  0                  3                 4               

Dhet Dhet I Dhere Kete I Dhere Kete I Kete Taga I Taga There I Kete Taka I
X                 0                  2                  0                 3                  4               

Tere Kete I Taka Dhuma I Kete Taka I ThuSn  SS I Kede Dha I Kede Dha I
X                0                    2                 0                3                4               

Kede Dhet I Dhet Dhet I DhaaS DiS I  Ghede Naga I Dhet TaS I Kath SS I
X                 0                 2                  0                   3              4               

KathS Thete I Ghege Thete I Taga Diga I Taga Thete I Diga Naga I Naga Naga I
X                    0                    2                0                  3                4               

Diga Daga I Daga Daga I There Kete I Taka Dhuma I Kita Taka I Gadi Ghene I Dhaa
X                0                 2                  0                    3                4                   x





Baba Allaudin Khan Sahab belonged to this Gharana . He was diciple of Pt. Nandi Bhatt; diciple of Mridangacharya Murari Mohan Gupta





Pt.Ghanashyam Bhattacharya Guru and uncle(Kaka) of Pt. Chanchal Kr. Bhattacharya



Monday, September 13, 2010

LIST OF PAKHAWAJI GHARANAS IN INDIA

The origin and the style of Pakhawaja are not so old. The process of its evolution started from the medieval period. Dhrupada Sangita was sung and Pakhawaja was played at courts and the Kings used to enjoy and appreciate them a lot.


Pakhawaja was at its heighst level during thirteenth century to first half of twentieth century. Pakhawaja in Indian Classical music is usually accompanied with Dhrupada singing style. Consequently, the Pakhawaja players started putting their different ideas to improve the sound quality as well as the shape of the Instrument and the process of preparing too. Finally those artisans have become successful and the result was very satisfactory which we are enjoying the pleasant sound of Pakhawaja at present. Hence various creations and recitals many Parans, Relas, Chakradhars and uppaj were composed that leaded Pakhawaja to be a solo Instrument.


Pakhawaja during 16th century till the 20th century was at the peak level. Lala Bhagwan Das (16th century) who is still remembered as an icon and founder of Pakhawaja, who is accompanied with Tansen and played Pakhawaja in court of emperor Akbar. Lala Bhagwan Das who was from Jaawali Gharana spread his style of playing all over india and soon India became rich with lots of different Gharanas.


According to Dr. Aban E. Mistry in her book PAKHAWAJA AUR TABLA KE GHARANEY AEIVAM PARAMPARAYEIN we have almost seventeen Gharanas in India which are as follows:-


1> Jawali Gharana


2> Mathura Kodhiya Gharana


3> Kudau Singh Gharana


4> Awadhi Grarana


5> Nana sahib Panse Gharana


6> Nathdwara Pt. Roopramji Gharana


7> Nathdwara (2nd) Pt. Ranchod Das Gharana


8> Nahdwara (3rd) Mewad Parampara


9> Dhaka Garana


10> Bengal; Lala Keval Kishanji and Lala Harkishan Gharana


11> Bengal; Vaishnava Parampara, Keshav Babu Dev


12> Bengal Vaishnava Parampara, Vishnupur


13> Mangalvedhekar Gharana


14> Gwalior Parampara- Jorawar Singh


15> Gwalior Parampara- Ganesh Ustad


16> Rayagarh Parampara


17> Gujarat Saurashtra Parampara.

An Introduction- Pakhawaja (Mridanga)

Meaning: It is a popular barrel shaped musical drum in Indian Classical Music, which comes under the category of Avanaddha Vadya (Membranophones) covered with skin on both the ends. The Mridanga is formed out of two words; literally, ‘Mrit’ in Sanskrit is mud, soil, or a kind of clay. ‘Anga’ means part or body. Therefore, Mrit+Anga become ‘Mridanga’. Gradually Mridanga lost its popularity and due to the evolution of Dhrupada style, people of North-India modified Mridanga, invented an Instrument of a wooden body, and named it Pakhawaja, which was similar to Mridanga.


The word ‘Pakhawaja’ is a corrupted word from ‘Paksha-Vadya’. The Sanskrit word Paksha+Atodya becomes Pakshatodya. The word ‘Paksha’ which means a wing or a part of a body or arm, and Atodya is to play an instrument; together means: - the instrument played by the arm or hand is ‘Pakshatodya’ or ‘Pakshavadya’. During the Muslim period according to the mass dialect, the word Pakshavadya changed into Pakhawaja.This happened due to the different languages, pronunciations and accents. Such as Pakhawaja in Bengal is pronounced as Paakhwaaj and in Uttarpradesh and Bihar Pakhawaja is pronounced as Pakhaauj.




Pakhawaj is essentially a north Indian version of the mridangam and is the most common north Indian representative of the class of barrel shaped drums known as mridang.  It was once common throughout north India, but in the last few generations tabla has usurped its position of importance.  It has a right head which is identical to tabla except somewhat larger.  The left head is similar to the tabla bayan except that there is a temporary application of flour and water instead of the black permanent spot.  It is laced with rawhide and has tuning blocks placed between the straps and shell.

There are several styles of pakhawaj playing.  The most well known and important is for the accompaniment of dhrupad and dhammar singers; this however, is falling out of fashion. Pakhawaj is also very much used for Orissi dancers and occasionally for kathak.  It is also found in a classical form from Rajasthan known as Haveli Sangeet.
Pakhawaj compositions are passed down from generation to generation.  Like the tabla, they are taught by a series of mnemonic syllables known as bol.  There are major differences between the tabla bols and the pakhawaj bols.  This is often confusing to musicians who wish to play pakhawaj compositions on the tabla.The playing position is easy.  For the right-handed person, the smaller end is placed on the right hand and the larger side is placed on the left side. (this part taken from Chandrakantha.com)





The special woods that are used to construct Mridanga or Pakhawaja are- :


Rakta-Chandan, Abanus, Bija-Vriksha or Panas. The length of the instrument would be 21 fingers (16”), the right side diameter would be 14 fingers (5.6”) and left side 13 fingers (5.2”), the middle part of the instrument would be 15 fingers (6”). Pakhawaja in North-India varies in size according to various requirements in scales. The average length of Pakhawaja would be 22’’ to 26’’. The right side diameter would be 6’’ to 7” and the left side would be 8” to 9.5”. (Taken from Mridanga Anka)





Kleines Glossar indischer Instumente.
Der Text ist in gek├╝rzter Form von Suneera Kasliwal, Classical Musical Instruments, Delhi 2001, entnommen.

Pakhawaj

Mridang was also called muraj and later on in the thirteenth century it was known as maddalam. In the medieval period, after fifteenth century, there was yet another name for this instrument pakhavaj or pakhvaj. This instrument with its new name, which is a distorted version of pakh+ouj = pakhavaj or paksh+vadya = pakhvaj, became a major percussion instrument of North Indian classical music, whereas the instrument with other regional characteristics and with the name mridangam, developed in the Carnatic system. Though the name mridang has not faded into oblivion and is occasionally used as synonym for pakhavaj, the latter is the more popular and commonly used name for this instrument in north India. Pakhavaj acquired a place of great importance in Hindustani music till the nineteenth century. It was the only accompanying instrument of the dhrupad style of singing and for the instruments played in dhrupad style such as been, rabab, sursingar and surbahar, etc., and thus was looked upon with great reverence. With the fall of dhrupad and with the advent of khayal in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, pakhavaj also lost its reigning position, and made way for the tabla. Pakhavaj is mainly an instrument to be played upon with open hand (thapi), which suppresses the delicateness of bols of khayal, thumri and sitar, whereas the tabla is played with fingers. It is a more supple and delicate instrument and suits the temperament of delicate and emotive kinds of musical forms such as khayal, thumri and sitar.

The instrument is barrel shaped with an asymmetrical convexity towards the left. In fact, the drum has a barley shape (yavakriti), one of the shapes referred to in Bharat's Natya Shastra and it is hollowed out of a block of wood. The wood used is of sheesham, khair, red sandalwood, vijaysar, etc. The total length of the instrument varies between two to two-and-a-half feet, the bulge is of about ninety centimetres circumference. The right face, which is smaller than the left, is the tuning face and emits the higher pitch, its circumference being about sixteen to twenty centimetres, i.e. six to eight inches. The circumference of the left face is about twenty-five centimetres, i.e. around ten inches. The circumference of the two faces is variable and is always kept in relation to the size of the instrument. The parchment called 'pudi' is prepared from two membranes, the inner complete skin and the outer peripheral ring. The two faces are held by braids (gajra) and connected by leather straps, which are sixteen in number and called ghat or ghar. The skin used for pudi parchment is of goat, whereas the baddhi or the braces are made of buffalo leather. Between the braces there are eight tuning blocks. For tuning, the blocks are pushed with a hammer to the left or the right; the pitch can be raised or lowered by this process. The blocks used in pakhavaj are bigger than those used in tabla. The preparation of the pudi of the right face is done exactly as the pudi prepared for the right tabla. But for the left face no black paste (syahi) is used. Instead a temporary mixture of wheat or barley flour mixed with water is applied at the time of the concert, which is carefully scraped off just after the programme. There is no fixed weight or standard quantity of dough that should be applied, but the artist judges it by experience. The intention is to get the pitch of the left face just half of the right face, or if the half is not possible, it is reduced to one-third. The application of dough on the faces of percussion instruments is an old tradition, which is a very special characteristic of Indian drums. Till a few years ago the application of dough, as done on the left face of the pakhavaj, was also prevalent with the left drum of the tabla, but later it was substituted with a permanent mixture, i.e. 'syahi', which appeared more convenient. In some parts of Punjab, this is still prevalent in respect of the tabla. Application of the dough works in two ways, i.e. it controls the pitch of the left face and also gives depth and resonance to the tone, which leaves a majestic, sober impression on the listener.
While playing, the player sits with his legs crossed, the pakhavaj is kept horizontally on the ground or in the lap and played with palm and fingers. The instrument is equally suitable for accompaniment as well as for a solo performance and has to its credit a vast repertoire developed for centuries by stalwart pakhavaj players.
Some of the great pakhavajies are:Pt.Purushottam Das (Nathdwara),Pt.Ayodhya Prasad (Rampur),Swami Pagaldas (Ayodhya), Raja Chhatrapati Singh (Bijana), Lala Keval Kishan (Braj, mathura),Pt.Makkan Pakhavaji,Pt.Ambadas Agle (Indore),Pt.Totaram Sharma (Mathura), Pt.Ramashish Pathak (Darbhanga,Pt.Chanchal kumar Bhattacharya(Kolkata), Pt.Dalchand Sharma (Delhi),Pt.Devakinandan Goswami (Indore) and Pt.Ramjilal Sharma (Lucknow), have shown remarkable talent and perseverance in this field.

Avanaddha Vadyas in other shaastra's according to different Shaastrakaar's

Natyashastra written by Maharshi Bharata, chapter thirty-three gives us knowledge about the invention of Avanaddha Vadyas during the period of Maharshi Bharata by Swati Muni taking the help of Lord Vishwakarma. It is said that there were one hundred varieties of Pushkaras. Among them the most important Pushkaras are Mrdanga, Panava and Dardura. On seeing the Dundubhi of Gods, Swati Muni made Muraja, Alingya, Urdhwaka and Ankika. He also made Jhallari, Pataha and covered them with hides on both opening sides of the barrel shaped Drums.


The use of these Drums are mainly during festivals, royal procession, Mangal ceremony, auspicious and happy occasions, at the time of marriage and during birth of children’s, in a battle where many soldiers assemble. The Shlokas 37-39 say the following aspects of the Pushkaras:-


Sixteen syllabic sounds (Aksharas), four Margas, Vilepana, six Karanas, three Yatis, three Layas, three Gatis, three Prasaras, three Yogas, three Panis, five Pani- Prahata, three Praharas, three Marjanas, eighteen Jatis and twenty Prakaras.

Avanaddha Vadya in Sangita Damodara by Shubhankara


According to the chapter IV, Vadyas (Musical Instruments Pg., 25-27) there are many varieties of Avanaddha Vadyas. According to Maharshi Bharata, Mrdanga is placed in top of all and Mardala is placed on top according to Acharya Sharangadeva. The author here describes with interesting details about the features and construction of Mardala.

The best wood used to make a Mardala is Khadira and Catechew. Other woods are not so much preferred except Red Sandal wood, which produces deep and grave sound. The measure of the Mardala should be one and a half of a hand. The left one should be of thirteen or twelve fingers and the right shorter by a half a finger or a half. The wood should be thick in the middle. The leather which is used to cover both the sides of the barrel shaped Drum should be of a dead calf of six months only. The Vilepana to produce sound in the Instrument is the lump of rice, ashes and red chalk would be affixed in the centre of the covered skin. The composition of the lump is very interesting. One view says that it should consist of ashes (Vibhuti), red chalk (Gairika), boiled rice (Bhakta) and sour Gruel. Another view makes the composition as consisting of flattered or flattened rice mixed with the essence of the earthworms. All this mixture is made up into a lump which is technically known as Kharali.

Here the author also describes the techniques of the correct striking of a Mardala and different bolas of rhythmic patterns of playing upon it. The varieties of leather Instruments are not elaborated upon here. A distinction is drawn between the Muraja and Mardala by their respective measures. The measure of Muraja is eight fingers on the left and seven fingers on the right, whereas the Mardala is of thirteen fingers on the left and twelve fingers on the right.


Avanaddha Vadyas in Other Shastra’s


During sixteenth century Sangita Darpana written by Pt. Damodara, the Vadyaadhyaya contains lots of representation of the Avanaddha Vadyas such as Damaru, Pataha, Mardala, Hudukka, Karata, Ghata, Rumja, Dhakka.

Pataho Mardalaschatha Hudukka Karata Ghataha ||
Ghadaso Dhawaso Dhakka Kudakka Kuduwa Tatha |
Rumja Damaruko Dakka Mamdidakka cha Dakkuli ||
Selluka Jhallari Bhanastrivali Dundubhihistatha |
Bheriniha Sanatumbakyo Bhedaha Syurawanaddhyaha ||

The Avanaddha Vadyas classified according to Sangita Ratanakara of Acharya Sharangadeva are Damaru, Dhakka, Hudukka, Mardala, Dakka, Karata, Ghata, Ghadaso, Dhawaso, Kudakka, Kuduwa, Rumja, Dakkuli, Selluka, Jhallari, Bhanastrivali, Dundubhi, Bheri etc. which are simultaneously repeated.

Another great writer and poet Kalidasa has also given many references, information’s about Mridanga, Pataha, Mardala, and Muraja. Sangita means the mixed attachment between the three Gita, Vadya and Nritya which the great poet Kalidasa used to occupy a huge place. He has explained briefly the word Sangita in many of his books. Those books are as follows: -
Ritusamhara, Kumarasambhava, Meghaduta, Malvikamitra and Vikramorwasiya.

Avanaddha Vadyas in Sangita Samayasara by Acharya Parshavadeva.


According to the book Sangita Samayasara, chapter no. six, page-142 to154, Acharya Parshavadeva has given a brief description about the playing styles of instruments like- Pataha, Hudukka and Dhakka.

History of Avanaddha Vadyas, Leather Instruments

Avanaddha Vadya are those instruments in which the body of the Musical Instrument would be made up of special clay, wood or metal; barrel shaped with both the sides open in the opposite ends e.g., Mridanga, Pakhawaja, Dholak, Madal etc. either the kettle shaped Musical Drums with only one end opening e.g., Tabla, Bayan, Urdhwaka etc. is covered with best skin with the help of thin and long leather straps to keep the Musical Drum in perfect Tone.

Listed in the category of Avanaddha Vadya the first Instrument born in the history of Musical Leather Instruments is a pet instrument of Lord Shiva ‘Rudra-Damaru’. The Shastras which mention about Damaru are Tripurasura-Rahasya, Shiva-Rahasya, Amarkosha, Sangita-Parijata, Sangita-Makaranda, Shiva-Dhyana, Shiva-Niranjanam, Skandapurana, Sangita-Darpana and Sangita- Ratanakara.

Vaadya Prabheda Damarumaddudimdimajharjaharaha|
Mardalaha Panavo anye cha Nartakitasike Samey||

Means: - Damaru is also counted and classified along with Maddu, Dimdima, Jharjhara, Mardala and Panava.




Dundubhi and Bhumidundubhi used to occupy a very special place during the Vedic age. We can find narrations of Dundubhi in the fifth Mandala 20th and 21st sukta’s in Atharvaveda. It is said that the sound of Dundubhi could take over any strong enemies on the other hand the wives of the enemies would also run away along with their children’s creating panic all over. The Bhumidundubhi was constructed by digging up a big hole in a land and the skin was folded to create tension, this Instrument was played with the tail bone of a Bison. Dundubhi was very popular among the warriors and it was usually played during great wars to cheer the warriors and give them more enthusiasm for war, special festivals, ceremonies, religious rituals. It was also an accompanying Instrument for the ‘Sama Gana’ (Vedic chants of Sama Veda)