Mridangam And Its Uniqueness
Mridangam is a beautiful instrument that originates from the Southern part of India has created a great impression among the musicians and the audience across the globe through the significance and the history it shares. I have had the privilege to learn this instrument under the unique process of the Gurukul system of learning in India. Mridangam is a very charismatic instrument because it has this very special element in it where it creates a positive aura and a connection between the audience. Like other Indian Instruments mridangam too is made from wood and buffalo skin as these were the primary sources available back in the days. This instrument was part of the classical ensemble of Carnatic music from the South Indian tradition.
Carnatic music is a traditional genre from South India and the main beauty is that in India we have two different types of classical genres and they define the two distinct regions of India. Carnatic music defines the South Indian region and its heritage and culture whereas we have the Hindustani music that showcases the North Indian cultural backgrounds. Mridangam is the strong pillar that created the percussion section for the Carnatic music. Taalas are the rhythm cycles or beats that we learn for this instrument where we are taught different fingering techniques for the smaller side of the instrument which we can see from the picture. This is the main area where we can see all the major parts are played and the left side from the picture shows the base part which provides support for the groove which we develop on the right side.
The sound of the instrument is what creates this blissful sense of satisfaction in our mind because the devotional enchantment which is undergone to make this piece of instrument create wonders when they are played. Mridangam is believed to be an instrument that is created by God as a medium to find peace and entertainment. The main part of the Mridangam is made from animal skin and the black part is made from crushed rice grains. This instrument is used as an accompaniment for classical dance performances and vocal concerts. Temperature plays a very important role to tune the instrument because of the natural materials used to make it. Two different types of Mridangam look similar in terms of right and left parts of the instrument and the wood but the height and size vary when we want to create different scale Mridangams.
As you all have come across my blogs where I speak about my experience with various genres and instruments but my main focus is on music and its unique power of creating a meditative aura. Mridangam exemplifies my thoughts about meditative power and how it attracts the crowd with its amazing sound which is very vibrating and soothing. I feel energetic when I have my hands on mridangam because I get this feeling of having achieved something when I set my groove and when my audience reciprocate their love for my playing through applauds. Percussionists from all over the world learn this instrument because of the unique and traditional rhythm cycles. Mridangam involves extensive math calculations and extreme hand movements and this will help us in keeping our memory sharp.
Please do enjoy this beautiful instrument by watching the following video:-
Mridangam Grooves on the Beach | Patri Satish Kumar | Music of India. (2017, April 29). [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpIMZwz-YbI