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Source: The Print


Context: Karaikudi R Rani, also known as Karaikudi Mani, a legendary mridangam vidwan, who dominated the Carnatic music scene for half a century passed away recently.


About the Mridangam:

Aspect Information


Origin It originated 2,000 years ago in various parts of South India
Usage It is a popular bifacial drum used as an accompaniment in South Indian Classical music, particularly Carnatic music
Playing Method It is held across the lap and played on both ends with the hands and fingers
Similar Instrument Mrdanga, Pakhawaj, and Tannumai. The Pakhavaj is a similar instrument played in the Hindustani tradition of northern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh
Making Process The body is scooped out of a single block of wood, preferably Jack Wood or Redwood. It is shaped like a barrel with the right head slightly smaller than the left.


Comparison of Carnatic music and Hindustani music on the basis of instruments used:

Aspect Carnatic Music Hindustani Music
Melodic Instruments Veena, Violin, Flute, Nadaswaram, Gottuvadyam, Mandolin, etc. Sitar, Sarod, Santoor, Bansuri, Shehnai, Harmonium, etc.
Percussion Mridangam, Ghatam, Kanjira, Thavil, Morsing, etc. Tabla, Pakhawaj, Dholak, Khol, Naal, etc.
Drone Instrument Tambura Tanpura, Swarmandal
Vocalization Style Syllabic, has a fixed tonic and scale, complex rhythmic structures Free-flowing, improvisational, and emphasis on ragas
Music Structure Kriti is the basic structure of Carnatic music Raga is the basic structure of Hindustani music