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Author: A Compilation
Publisher: Centre for Cultural Resources and Training
ISBN/UPC (if available): CCRT/CPXLV
India is the inheritor of one of the most ancient and evolved music systems in the world. Musical instruments are the tangible and material representation of music which is an auditory art. This set of two illustrated picture albums with elobrate text features different parts of stringed musical, wind, percussion and solid instruments.
The first set contains 22 illustrated pictures along with write-up’s on stringed musical instruments and a booklet which provides general Information about the evolution of music, different parts of stringed musical instruments. The second set contains 24 illustrated pictures along with write-ups on wind instruments, percussion instruments and solid instruments. The booklet provides general information about the evolution of music, underlying principles of sound production based on the structure of instruments and the material used.
India is the inheritor of one of the most ancient and evolved music systems in the world. The continuity of the musical traditions of India is established through a study of musical texts and numerous visual references one finds of musical instruments in painting and sculpture from prehistoric times to the present day.
The earliest evidence of music activity is found on the walls of cave paintings at Bhimbetka and in several parts of Madhya Pradesh, which were occupied by man approximately 10, 000 years ago. Much later, in the excavations of the Harappan Civilization also, evidence is available of dance and music activity.
Musical instruments are the tangible and material representation of music which is an auditory art. A study of these helps in tracing the evolution of music and also explains many aspects of the material culture of the group of people to which these instruments belong. For instance, the hair used for making the bow, the wood or clay used for making the drum, or the hide of animals used in the instruments, all these tell us about the flora and fauna of a particular region.
The Tamil word for instrument-Karuvi is found in Sangam literature of the 2nd to 6th century A D, the literal meaning of which is tool. This is extended to mean instrument in the context of music.
Very ancient instruments may be seen as an extension of the human body and we find even today, sticks and clappers. Dried fruit rattles, the Kaniyani Danda of Oraons or the dried berries or shells tied to the waist are used for producing rhythm, even today.
The hand was referred to as the Hasta Veena, where the hands and fingers and used to show the notation system of vedic chanting, coordinating sound with mudra-hand gesture.
In the Natya Shastra, compiled by Bharat Muni dated 200 B C- 200 A D, musical instruments have been divided into four main categories on the basis of how sound is produced.
(i) The Tata Vadya or Chordophones – Stringed instruments
(ii) The Sushira Vadya or Aerophones –Wind instruments
(iii) The Avanaddha Vadya or Membranophones – Percussion instruments
(iv) The Ghava Vadya or Idiophones –Solid instruments which do not require tuning.
In this package we shall see a few stringed instruments. India has a large variety of such instruments and only a few have been selected keeping in mind representation of the various categories.