called tamburi or tanpuri. the first string is tuned down to the natural fourth: 4-8-8-1 or Ma-sa-sa-Sa. PA-sa-sa-SA. Tamburas come in different sizes and pitches: larger "males". The male instrument has an open string length of approximately one metre. and a yet smaller version is used for accompanying sitar or sarod. the female is three-fourths of the male. in Indian sargam. tamboura or taanpura is a long-necked plucked lute (a stringed instrument found in different forms and in many places). Male vocalists pitch their tonic note (Sa). The body shape of the tambura somewhat resembles that of the sitar. It has four or five (rarely six) wire strings. For ragas that omit the fifth. but it has no frets – and the strings are played open. The standard tuning is 5-8-8-1 (sol do' do' do) or.The tambura. often to about C♯. One or more tamburas may accompany other musicians or vocalists. female singers usually a fifth higher. tanpura. Some ragas require a less common tuning with shuddh NI (one . smaller "females" for vocalists. which are plucked one after another in a regular pattern to create a harmonic resonance on the basic note (bourdon or drone function). though the tonic may be any note. as there is no absolute pitch in the Indian classical music systems.

which means "full" or "complete".[citation needed] . and the speed of playing may vary throughout a performance or remain relatively constant. NI-sa-sa-SA. The special overtone-rich sound is achieved by applying the principle of jivari. With a five-string instrument. that which gives life. but it supports and sustains the melody by providing a colourful and dynamic harmonic resonance field based on one precise tone. The name tanapura is probably derived from tana. Its tempo is independent of the music it supports. at the discretion of the player. Also. referring to a musical phrase. the seventh or NI (natural minor or major 7th) is added: PA-NI-sa-sa-SA (5-7-8-8-1)or MA-NI-sa-sa-SA (4-7-8-8-1). it is not played in rhythm with the music. implying that the tambura embodies an "animated" tone quality. the basic note or key note. The principle of jivari can be likened to the prismatic refraction of white light into the colours of the rainbow. It does not partake in the melodic part of the music. and pura.semitone below octave sa). as its acoustic twin principle at work. Jiva refers to "soul". the tambura is unique in many ways. Both in its musical function and how it works. which creates a sustained "buzzing" sound in which particular harmonics will resonate with focused clarity.

When the string is plucked. the curvature of the bridge.To achieve this effect. this intermittent grazing of the string and bridge is not a static process. it has intermittent periodical contact with the bridge. being a compound function of amplitude. as the points of contact will gradually shift. and string tension. it has a large . the front of which slopes gently away from the surface of the strings. the strings pass over a wide. When a string is plucked. arched bridge.

Depending on scale and pitch. Tamburi are tuned to the higher octave and are the preferred instruments for accompanying solo performances by string-playing artists. It is two to three feet long. the grazing contact is shifted to a different position on the bridge. more transparent sound does not drown out the lower register of a sitar. but the spherical part is gouged out of a solid block of wood.amplitude. This dynamic process can be finetuned using a cotton thread between string and bridge: by shifting the thread. tamburas are attentively tuned to achieve a particular tonal shade relative to the intonation-related qualities of the raga. with a flat bed-pan type wooden body with a slightly curved tabli. These more delicate aspects of tuning are directly related to what Indian musicians call raga svaroop. at the same time. Tanjore style: this is a south Indian style of tambura. this can take between three and ten seconds. or sarangi. bridges are usually cut from one piece of bone. the connecting heel-piece and the neck (dandh) are fixed is actually a selected and dried gourd (tumba). It is usually between three to five feet in length. with a well-rounded resonator plate (tabli) and a long. used widely by Carnatic music performers. Tamburas are designed in three different styles:    Miraj style: the favourite form of tanpura for Hindustani performers. Jackwood is used throughout. . as the lighter. The neck is somewhat smaller in diameter. the contact point of the string with the bridge slowly creeps up the slope to the top of the bridge. Typically. hollow straight neck. It may have from four to six strings. no gourd is used. changing the harmonic content. As the energy of the string's movement gradually diminishes. made it possible to explore a multitude of harmonic relations produced by the subtle harmonic interplay of four strings. bridges are usually cut from one piece of rosewood. Wood used is either tun or teak. The round lower chamber to which the tabli. The tambura's particular setup. It has a somewhat different shape and style of decoration from that of the miraj. two rosettes are drilled out and ornamented with inlaywork. According to this principle. which is about how characteristic intonations strengthen the tonal impression of a particular raga. Often. builds up a particular resonance. Tamburi: small-scale instruments. sarod. with its adjustable bridge. Every single string produces its own cascading range of harmonics and. moving up and down and contacting the bridge on the down-phase. used for accompanying instrumental soloists. finally resting at the top of the bridge. but is otherwise much the same size.

octaves and basic note. The creative scope of musicians in tuning their Tanpura. but also an ideal companion for musical meditation. De luxe models stand out through their eloborate inlaid works in the cover as well as carved wooden pegs. Please contact us if you have special ideas. It is usually stringed with 4 or 5 metal strings (rarely with 6 strings) and it is a basic note instrument and as such an important component in classical Indian music. In the following examples other possibilities of traditional tuning of a Tanpura are listed when a Raga. Also for Tanpuras we can fulfill your special wishes in cooperation with an instrument maker. These come in different lightness and range from transparent to almost black. For this reason. The fine tuners are usually swan-shaped. The standard tuning of a Tanpura consists of fifth. All Tanpuras are handmade unique objects and not instruments from industrial mass production. Simple Tanpuras usually have decorative borders of celluloid and plain celluloid inlays as well as woodcarvings at the resonance boxes. All in all there is a better quality of material and workmanship. POSSIBLE TUNINGS OF TANPURAS By using strings of different thickness. turned pegs and fine tuners mostly of plastic. It is an Indian variety of the well-known teak wood. we have listed some more tuning examples for 5-string and 6-string Tanpuras. does not have a fifth. however. . The strings are only plucked. overtone singing or modal improvisation. Like for the other instruments TARANG offers a wide range of northern Indian Tanpuras of different leading instrument makers. MATERIALS AND FEATURES OF A TANPURA The Indian Tun wood is mostly used for building a Tanpura. The Tanpura is thus not only an ideal accompaniment for traditional Indian music. In addition. Independent of the traditional Indian guidelines any tuning is possible. is hardly limited at all. all indications of size and design are only clues and not binding assurances.Just like the Sitar the Tanpura is one of the long neck lutes. They are tuned to the basic note and its fifth and octave. Yellowish to reddisch shades are the rule. The instruments receive a shellac varnish using natural pigments. A characteristic feature of the Tanpura is its sound that is very rich in overtones and the special rich sound effect that is produced by the constant playing of the individual strings and which has an intensive effect on the listener. the tuning of the Tanpura can be varied to a limited extent. that is accompanied.

octave .octave .octave . Thus it contributes to a unified musical experience.basic note 6th alternative: fourth .basic note 6-stringed Tanpura: Standard tuning: fifth .sixth . a flat wooden resonance box and neck.octave .octave .seventh .basic note 5th alternative: fourth .octave . . Instrumental Tanpuras are used in Indian music for example in Sarod or Sitar concerts. The plucking is done by the soft insides of the fingertips so that the plucking is more like a soft stroking of the strings.octave .octave .basic note PLAYING TECHNIQUE OF THE TANPURA A Tanpura can be held and played upright resting either on the lap or on the floor. size.basic note 3rd alternative: sixth.basic note 5-stringed Tanpura: Standard tuning: fifth .basic note 3rd alternative: sixth .octave .octave . The classical playing technique requires to put the thumb of the playing hand to the neck of the Tanpura so that it serves as a support.octave . The Tanpura is in Indian music a fundamental. The sound can be described as clear silvery.octave . They are stringed with 5 thin steel strings and have.octave . It does not come to the fore so much.basic note 4th alternative: fifth . elementary instrument.seventh .octave .octave .octave . It is important to convey the impression of a freely floating. or horizontally on the lap or on the floor in front of the player.basic note 1st alternative: fourth .basic note 2nd alternative: seventh . Then the 1st string is plucked with the middle finger and the 2nd.octave . which vary in shape.octave .octave .octave .octave .basic note 5th alternative: fourth .octave .sixth .octave .octave .octave . The strings are plucked in a regular rhythm but after the touch of the 4th string there should be a slightly longer pause before the 1st string is played again.octave .octave .octave . The fingers should be placed parallel to the middle part of the strings.basic note 6th alternative: fourth . The playing rhythm should not sound too mechanical or uniform.octave .octave .octave .octave .basic note 4th alternative: fifth .octave . but connects all the instruments involved by its sound tapestry in an unobtrusive way.cotave .octave .octave . This gives the 4th string the opportunity to echo a little longer. structure.octave . lively vibration.octave . The string should be set resonating softly without an audible touch.basic note 1st alternative: fourth .octave .basic note 1st alternative: fourth .seventh .octave .octave .basic note 2nd alternative: seventh . 3rd and 4th strings with the index finger.4-stringed Tanpura: Standard tuning: fifth .octave . compared to the other two Tanpura categories.octave .octave . basic tuning and use: Instrumental Tanpura The instrumental Tanpuras with a length between 95 and 115 cm are the smallest Tanpuras.octave .octave .basic note 3rd alternative: sixth .seventh . DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TYPES OF TANPURAS There are three main categories of Tanpuras.octave .octave . The characteristic tuning of an instrumental Tanpura is around middle C.octave .octave .octave .basic note 2nd alternative: seventh .

powerful sound is a very special experience. we can arrange for appropriate restoration. This allows a low tuning around low C. They are equipped with 4 strings and are traditionally used for accompanying female singers. With a size of around 120 to 130 cm. prompt service and straightforward processing of purchase and delivery. The financial aspect also has to be mentioned. Male Tanpuras are well suited for accompanying male singers. Also in this respect we can satisfy the needs of our customers. Should an instrument be defective at any time. This is made possible by close personal contact to the suppliers and a strict selection of the instruments that are included in our range of goods. when bying an Indian instrument. that is why their tuning is around G. This has effects on the required care and circumspection in craftsmanship.150 cm are the longest Tanpuras. Our international lists of teachers enable everybody to find information about a teacher in their proximity. apart from the size. on the experience and mentality of the commissioned manufacturer and the use of parts of the instruments that are often of a poor qualtity.Male Tanpura The male Tanpuras with a length of 140 . Irrespective of the qualification of the skill in craftsmanship. . in some cases. The purchase prices are negotiated to the lowest limit by the western countries. All instruments are delivered adjusted and ready to be played. i. For further information please click on the banner TARANG offers on principle only high-qualtiy musical instruments. Of course. to that of the male Tanpuras. Their whole build is generally more voluminous. The characteristic resonant. we understand that somebody who purchases an instrument is also dependent on accessories and spare parts. Female Tanpura The build of female Tanpuras corresponds. to know the sources. As a rule we can deliver any instrument offered on our website within 1 . this leads. especially for high ordered quantities. to results that do not deserve the name instrument. You can expect from us: reasonable prices. We do not offer any instruments which reach the west from unknown sources via importers and which are often resold by middlemen without any quality check and setting of the instrument. Despite the high quality we offer. The demand from the west is relatively high in India. TARANG only supplies instruments from indisputable sources. they are a little smaller than those. in both tuning and timbre between the instrumental and the male Tanpuras. Thus it is easily comprehensible that it is essential.e. we also do our best to offer you these instruments at very competitive and reasonable prices.2 weeks.

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