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PAKHAVAJ - Percussion  Instrument

The pakhavaj produces a low mellow tone and is rich in harmonics.  It is a double sided barrel shaped drum that is placed horizontally on a cushion or thick mat and played horizontally with both hands.  The treble skin is played with the right hand while the bass side is struck with the left.   It is an accompaniment instrument for a variety of music and dance performances.  This instrument has been played since ancient times.

Both faces are lined with hide, generally goatskin and are kept taut with leather strips or thongs.  There are eight pieces of wood inserted in between the thongs and these serve to tension the membranes.

The treble side skin has three tiers or layers giving a concentric design.  The middle layer is made from a thick hardened paste of fine iron filings and flour (wheat)  and this is what causes the treble harmonics.

While the treble skin is tuned by adjusting the tension in conjunction with the central paste, the bass skin is tuned by the application of wheat dough.

Other Indian Musical Instruments

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Urumee Players, Indian Musical Instruments

Urumee Players, Indian Musical Instruments

Urumee, Indian Musical Instruments

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