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122/365 – Mridangam

The mridangam is a percussion instrument from India of ancient origin. It is the primary rhythmic accompaniment in a Carnatic music ensemble.

The mridangam is also played in Carnatic concerts in countries outside of India, including Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. During a percussion ensemble, the mridangam is often accompanied by the ghatam, kanjira, and the morsing.

History

In ancient Hindu sculpture, painting, and mythology, the mridangam is often depicted as the instrument of choice for a number of deities including Ganesha and Nandi. Nandi is said to have played the mridangam during Shiva’s arcane Tandava dance, causing a divine rhythm to resound across the heavens. The miruthangam is thus also known as “Deva Vaadyam,” or “Instrument of the Gods.”

The word “mridangam” is derived from the two Sanskrit words mŗda (clay or earth) and anga (body). Early mridangams were indeed made of hardened clay. Over the years, the mridangam evolved to be made of different kinds of wood due to its increased durability, and today, its body is constructed from wood of the jackfruit tree.

Modern usage

Today the mridangam is most widely used in Carnatic music performances. These performances take place all over Southern India and are now popular all over the world.

Significant players of the mridangam in modern times are Late Palghat Mani Iyer, Late Palghat Raghu, Dr.T.K.Murthy, Umayalapuram K. Sivaraman, Vellore Ramabhadran, Trichy Sankaran,T.S.Nandakumar, Karaikudi Mani,Madurai.T.Srinivasan(Seenakutti),Yella Venkateswara Rao, Srimushnam Raja Rao, Tiruvarur Bhaktavatsalam who have been playing and advancing the technique since decades.

Palghat Mani Iyer – Mridangam

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mridangam

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Categories: General Knowledge, Music
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