Essay On Ghatam

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The Ghatam is a Percussion Instrument used in the Carnatic music of South India. Its variant is played in Punjab and is known as Gharha as is a part of Punjabi folk traditions. Its analogue in Rajasthan is known as the madga and pani mataqa (“water jug”).
Even the work called “Krishna Ganam”, there is an important reference about “GHATAM” there is a description of a cowherd playing on a pot as an accompaniment to Lord Krishna’s Flute. GHATAM has found its place in ancient books on musical instruments.
Ghatam is known as Noot in Kashmir and Mudki in Rajasthan, it was a folk instrument in olden days. In South India, Ghatam is highly sophisticated instrument raised to concerts status. Apart from traditional concert platforms, Ghatam instrument in India is also gaining prominent
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The belly, neck and upper rim produce different tone colours.
A characteristic bass tone that can be modulated results from beating the opening with the palm of one’s hand.
Conventionally Ghatam is not played, in the upright position kept on a ring or stand. It is kept on the lap and kept in an angular position (the mouth of the ghatam facing the chest and neck of the performer.
The base is produced occasionally with the palm covering the open mouth of the ghatam. But this sound is too loud and high bass.
The frequently used more sophisticated base or GAMAKA/GUMUKI is by the combination of two actions. One is playing on the neck of the ghatam with the wrist (strongly) keeping the fingers folded for better power and accent. The second action simultaneously done is by moving the ghatam outwards (through the above said stroke) from the stomach or tummy which partially keeps the mouth of the ghatam covered normally. The air column inside ghatam is forced to go out in the movement and with the stroke it produces a beautiful base sound.

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