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Indian Crafts >> Musical Instruments
Musical Instruments
Indian Crafts - Musical Instruments
History of Musical Instruments

The musical industry in Uttar Pradesh is about 250 years old. It was highly influenced in the Nawab’s era [1760-1857], when music was the favourite pass time of royal people. Since then provincial courts of Lucknow and Rampur have been leading centres of production of musical instruments.At Lucknow the growth of this industry accelerated, after the establishment of Bhatkand College of Indian Music.

The musical industry in Uttar Pradesh is about 250 years old. It was highly influenced in the Nawabs era [1760-1857], when music was the favourite pass time of royal people. Since then provincial courts of Lucknow and Rampur have been leading centres of production of musical instruments.At Lucknow the growth of this industry accelerated, after the establishment of Bhatkand College of Indian Music.

Music is obviously the first creative expression of man. From the Mohanjodaro and Harappaexcavations dating back to 3000 B.C. we get an insight into the pre-vedic period culture in which one finds, amongst the relics, a fair representation of the important instruments then in use. To show the high elevation to which musical instrument were raised, there are sculptural proofs and ancient literary references that depict Gods and Goddesses each playing an instruments.

Indian musical instruments are remarkable for their and variety of forms. From the Mohanjodaro and Harappa excavations dating to 3000 B.C. we get an insight into the pre-vedic period culture in which one finds, amongst the relics, a fair representation of the important instruments then in use.
Fine Art
The musical instruments are closely associated with learning and practising of classical Indian music. There is a wide range of percussion, shifting and wind instruments. Now-a- days it is fashionable to keep these instruments as the showpieces to reflect the rich heritage of classical musical traditions.





The musical instruments are closely associated with learning and practising of classical Indian music. There is a wide range of percussion, shifting and wind instruments. Now-a-days it is fashionable to beep these instruments as the showpieces to reflect the rich heritage of classical musical traditions.
Procedure
Harmonium: Strips of 1 cm thick teakwood are joined together to make the cabinets. Leather or cardboard elbows are fixed to the cabinet. A celluloid sheet is fitted on to the body and polished brass reeds are fitted on to it. Keyboard made of kailwood is placed above the reeds, and the keys are connected to the reed. Brass or plastic stoppers are fitted on to the front side to control the airflow. Finally the harmonium is tuned.Sitars: A sitar consists of a hemispherical base with a long neck with keys for tuning. The base is made of timber or gourd shells. The timber is cut in 2 parts and immersed in water for softening. After which it is given a required shape and fixed to the neck made of teakwood. The body is ornamented by bone, horn etc. on to which strings are attached. Tabla: It consists of a set of 2 vertical drums with the beating surface upwards and lower portion resting on ground. For right tabla, shisham wood or mango wood is cut in blocks. The block is made hollow to form a shell tapering upwards. The shell is dried and the mouth is sealed, with a circular piece of leather. Cotton or leather supported strings upon gutkas (wooden blocks) connect the upper portion of the leather place with the box. It is then polished and tuned. To increase the resonance of the leather piece, steel powder is glued to its central portion. Generally, earthen pots fitted with a tight leather surface are used for left Tabla and steel powder paste is placed on the spherical leather.

Harmonium: Strips of 1 cm thick teakwood are joined together to make the cabinets. Leather or cardboard elbows are fixed to the cabinet. A celluloid sheet is fitted on to the body and polished brass reeds are fitted on to it. Keyboard made of kailwood is placed above the reeds, and the keys are connected to the reed. Brass or plastic stoppers are fitted on to the front side to control the airflow. Finally the harmonium is tuned. Sitars: A sitar consists of a hemispherical base with a long neck with keys for tuning. The base is made of timber or gourd shells. The timber is cut in 2 parts and immersed in water for softening. After which it is given a required shape and fixed to the neck made of teakwood. The body is ornamented by bone, horn etc. on to which strings are attached. Tabla: It consists of a set of 2 vertical drums with the beating surface upwards and lower portion resting on ground. For right tabla, shisham wood or mango wood is cut in blocks. The block is made hollow to form a shell tapering upwards. The shell is dried and the mouth is sealed, with a circular piece of leather. Cotton or leather supported strings upon gutkas (wooden blocks) connect the upper portion of the leather place with the box. It is then polished and tuned. To increase the resonance of the leather piece, steel powder is glued to its central portion. Generally, earthen pots fitted with a tight leather surface are used for left Tabla and steel powder paste is placed on the spherical leather.

Veena - It is made of a large pear-shaped bowl hollowed out of a single block of jack or black wood medicated in wood or oil. It is made out of a single piece or in two or three sections with the joints perfectly fitted. The top has a covering board slightly convex and a foot in diameter which acts as the sounding board. At the center of this, is the main bridge of wood topped by metal and secured to which is the side bridge, a metal arc. A projecting ivory ledge separates the bowl from a hollow wooden stem whose top is covered by the neck with a graceful curve.Sarangi - Looks like Veena, Sarangi is a complete instrument which produces the effects and nuances of most of Indian music. It is short in structure around two ft. with a compressed sound box made from one block of hollowed-out wood with the belly covered by a leather parachment in the middle of which is fixed the bridge. It has four strings, three of guts and one of brass which is in the lowest pitch. Running underneath the main strings are the sympathetic strings pass through the small holes on the finger board before reaching the tuning pegs. The instrument is played with short bow. The four tuning pegs are fixed at the next on each side of the hollow head. The small tuning pegs fixed in the stem are for the sympathetic strings. Sitar - It consists of a body two ft. long made from jackwood or any resonant wood. Sometimes the bowl is just a gourd cut into its core with a belly of three inches wide thin wood fixed upon it which is pierced with sound holes. An ivory wedge connects the body with the finger-board which is three inches in width and slightly concave, carrying 18 to 20 elliptical metal frets on it. Each is held in position by a brass spring connecting its two ends by passing round the stem which makes the frets easily moveable for any sound adjustments. The finger-board leads on to the neck which is straight. It has seven metal strings which pass over the bridge in the center, them over the frets, and finally through an ivory ledge to enter the tuning pegs, five of which are fixed in the neck. The instrument is played with a wire plectrum placed upon the forefinger while the thumb presses the edge of the belly. Music is played mostly on the last string, which is stopped by the forefinger and middle finger of the left hand, and this string passes through a small bead that helps in accurate tuning.

Veena - is made of a large pear shaped bowl hollowed out of a single block of jack or black wood medicated in wood or oil. It is made out of a single piece or in two or three sections with the joints perfectly fitted. The top has a covering board slightly convex and a foot in a diameter which acts as the sounding board. A projecting ivory ledge separates the bowl from a hollow wooden whose top is covered by a thin wooden piece, the stem ending at the neck with a graceful curve. The strings are tied at the bowl end to metallic fastenings with small metallic rings that glide over them to help accurate tuning. Flute - This consist of a cylindrical tube of uniform bore closed at one end. The mouth hole is pierced at a distance of about ¾ of an inch from the closed end. Finger hole of uniform size, varying between seven and nine, are in a straight line with the mouth hole, the latter being slightly bigger than the former. Flutes are made from a variety of materials: wood, ivory, sandalwood, ebony, red sandalwood, and different metals. But the largest number are made of bamboo because of the excellent quality of tone it gives out.Sarangi - It is made with a compressed sound box made one block of hollowed-out wood with the belly covered by a leather parchment in the middle of which is fixed the bridge. It has four strings these of guts and one of brass which is in the lowest pitch. The four tunning pegs are fixed at the neck on each side of the hollow head.Sitar - It is made from jackwood or any resonant wood. The bowl is just a gourd cut into its core with a belly of three inches wide thin wood fixed upon it which is pierced with sound holes. An ivory wedge connects the body with the finger-board which is three inches in width and slightly concaue carrying 18 to 20 elliptical metal frest on it. Each is held in a position by a brass spring connecting its two frets easily moveable for any second adjustment. It has seven metal strings which pass over the bridge in the centre, then over the frets, and finally through an ivory ledge to centre the tunning pegs, five of which are fixed in the neck.
Resources
Basic Material : Wood, sheep skin, buffalo skin, twine or cotton thread.

Basic Material : Shisham wood or mango wood, teak or kailwood, leather, cardboard, brass, celluloid sheet, gourd shells (tumba), steel powder, earthen pots.
Decorative Material Brass, ivory, bone, and yarn.

Basic Material : Wood, oil, metal, leather parchment, jackwood, resonant wood, ivory wedge

Basic Material : gourds of all sizes, bamboo canes, variety of reeds, jack wood, black wood, earthenware, skin of calf, sheep, buffalo, monitor lizard, bronze, silver, copper and iron.
Equipments
Handsaw, hammer, planer, file drill, screwdriver

Handsaw, planer, hammer, file, drill, screw driver



Artifacts
Hodka (drum), been baza (mashk bean), dhol.

Harmonium, Sitar, Tabla, Tanpura, Sarangi, Veena.

tanpura, sitar, dilruba, sarangi, veena and ektal

sitar, veena, sarangee, flute, santoor etc.

Indian Crafts : History of Musical Instruments