Home > General Knowledge, Music > 328/365 – Yazh

328/365 – Yazh

Yazh is a direct ancestor of modern day Veena or Lute. It was named so, because the tip of stem of this instrument was carved into the head of the animal Yali.

The yazh was an open-stringed polyphonous instrument, with a wooden boat-shaped skin-covered resonator and an ebony stem.

The gut strings are called as Narambu in Tamil. Thiruvalluvar, the celebrated Tamil poet from 200 BC, mentions Yazh in his work Thirukkural.

Many major Tamil classical literary masterpieces written during Sangam period dating back 200 BC have mentioned Yazh. Silappatikaram written by a Jain monk Ilango Adigal mentions four kinds of yazhs.

Periyazh with 21 strings

Makarayazh with 19 strings

Cakotayazh with 14 strings

Cenkottiyazh with 7 strings

Other types of Yazh’s are

Mayil Yazh – resembling peacock

Vil Yazh – resembling Bow

Yazh is a Tamil word. But the Vedas dating back some 1500 BC mention it as Vana in Rigveda and Atharvaveda, from which the modern Veena originated is said to have hundred strings, and is also called as Shatatantri veena or the hundred stringed lute.

The Tamil literature Perumpāṇāṟṟuppaṭai says the strings of a yazh should not have any twists in them. Silappatikaram mentions four types of defects in yazh.

Other Tamil literature which have mentions on yazh are Seevaga Sindhamani and Periya Puranam. Yazh is seen in sculptures in the Darasuram and Thirumayam temples in Tamil Nadu and also in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh.

Swami Vipulananda has written a book of scientific research (Stringed Musical Instruments) in Tamil called the Yal Nool.

Thiruvalluvar had mentioned about the instrument, in one of his hymns as

Kuzhal Inidhu Yazh Inidhu Enbar Thammakkal

Mazhalai Sol Keladavar

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

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Categories: General Knowledge, Music
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