Folk music represents this pure aspect of our lives, where music is how it should be — a part of our identity, entity and soul. Indian Classical Music (ICM) can be the more refined outcome of this dedication to music.
Music is and has been deep-rooted in our culture. While Indian Classical Music evolved over the last few centuries, music, as it is, has been a part of man’s life in some form or the other. In my previous articles, I introduced the different categories of musical instruments and elucidated upon the common varieties between ICM and folk music. Today, I would like to acquaint you with some of the rare music instruments from India’s rich musical history.
India is a diverse country in terms of language, customs, food and most importantly in its music — a fact we are all aware of. This diversity has brought about a wide array of music instruments that are peculiar to a particular state or share some basic characteristics with each other.
Let us have a look at some of the regional instruments that are not so illustrious but have been on the scene since ages. With curious names, they are sure to catch your interest and perhaps one of you might decide to bring an instrument out of oblivion and revive its bleak future.
From Kashmir, the land of hills, valleys and sheer paradise — Tumbaknari is an elongated goblet-shaped earthen instrument, used for every singing occasion in Kashmir. ‘Nari’ in Kashmiri is an earthen pot. Tumbknari is very similar to the ‘Irani Tumakh’, the difference lying in its structure. Its harmonious rhythm makes the whole atmosphere euphoric.
From Punjab, the land of the brave-hearted, free-spirited and flourishing fields — Algoza is an instrument widely used in Rajasthani, Baloch and Punjabi music, especially in the genres of Jugni, Jind Mahi and Mirza. A tricky instrument to play, it consists of two joined beak flutes, one for melody, the second for drone. A continuous flow of air is necessary as the player blows into the two flutes simultaneously. It is a double flute which is made of bamboo. An Algoza player needs to master the techniques of breathing so that the rhythm of the instrument does not break.