IntroductionTanpura in India is a drone instrument that accompanies Dhrupad singing and is the most fundamental of all instruments of Indian Classical Music. The fundamental principles on which Indian classical music is based are all embodied in the Tanpura.
The curved bridge of the Tanpura and its unusual shape produce melodius sound that is very rich in overtones. When a string of the Tanpura is plucked the produce is not a pure note fixed in pitch, but a note that oscillates by a miniscule amount owing to the curved bridge.
The Tanpura embodies the concept of a note that is not fixed but is fluid with infinite microtonal shades. Tanpura tuning is a complex task and advanced practitioners of Dhrupad especially in the Dagar Tradition -can tune a Tanpura to reflect the flavour of the raga to be performed. Many famous Indian musicians get their Tanpuras made by the craftsman from Miraj.
Tanpura or Tambura, a long-necked drone lute which is a chordophones from the lute family of instruments. Tanpura has four or six stringed fretless instrument with a long hollow neck and rounded body. In Hindustani classical music tanpura are in different sizes, the bigger one is known as "males" and smaller one as "females". There are three main styles of designing a Tanpura: Miraj Style, Tanjore Style and Tamburi Style. It is played with fingers by plucking the strings in successive manner.
How to play a Tanpura
When Tanpura player plucks the strings one at a time, in a steady, repetitive orderly manner, using the index and middle fingers it is amazing to listen to the music. Today with the advancements "electronic" tanpuras have become commonplace, since they do not require a human player, are less expensive, simpler to tune, require minimal maintenance, and are easily portable.
Many Indian professional musicians like Pandit Debu Chaudhuri and Pandit Aashish Khan are now touring without a tanpura player and are using the Riyaz Raagini sampled electronic tanpura machine as it sounds so very realistic. However, some artists prefer a natural instrument to an electronic and sometimes combine the two types. Electronic Tanpuras are, naturally, used by many students for practice as in this way the student can practice for long periods of time as and when needed without the need for a person to sit and play tanpura for them.
Popular MusiciansChandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon is a popular Tanpura Musician, the dynamic chairman of Tandon Capital Associates, who has done major restructuring surgeries in the global financial world.
Where to buy a TanpuraContact: Mr Ashish Shrivastava
Sathyadeep Musical Palace
Beside Vysya Bank
Andhra Pradesh Pin- 515134
Pakrashi And Co.
Contact Person : Mr. Suphal Pakrashi - Managing Partner/ Technical Head.
Mr. Parimal Basak - Senior Manager (Administration)
Mr. Suvojit Pakrashi- Managing Partner / Marketing Head
Address : 82 A, Rash Behari Avenue
Kolkata - 700 026, India
Tel : +(91)-(33)-24665602 / 24658007
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Rain City Music
20825 State Route 410 E #270
Bonney Lake, WA 98391
USA Phone: 253-678-2605 Phone hours are 8am to 8pm weekdays, 10am to 7pm weekends
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Where to learn to play a TanpuraTARANG School for Classical Indian Dance and Music
Manager: Marie-Luise Siebenkaes
Johannisstrasse 14 D-90763 Fuerth
Germany Telephone: +49-(0)911-6708040
Fax: +49 (0)1212-512616701