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KANJIRA - Percussion instrument

The kanjira is a tambourine like instrument made from wood and covered on one side with the skin of monitor lizard (see image).

The frame is made from the wood of the jackfruit tree, it has a diameter of between 17 and 22 cm and about 7.5 cm deep.  Small discs are inserted within the slit in the frame to add a jingling sound.

As this instrument is not tuned, it is extremely hard to learn or master.  The skin is struck with the palm and fingers of the right hand while the left hand is used for holding the frame. 

The tone of the kanjira is typically high pitched and if the musician requires a more bass resonance, he has to reduce the tension of the skin by sprinkling water on the inner side.

Other Indian Musical Instruments

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Kanjira, Indian Musical Instrument

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