Thursday, January 9, 7400

India - Development of Jalatarang (c. 400)

Jalatarang (Tuned Bowls)

Jalatarang ("waves in water") are musical bowls, with tuning modified by the aid of water.

Jalatarang were first mentioned in Sangeet Parijaat. This medieval musical treatise categorizes the instrument under Ghan-Vadya (Idiophonic instruments in which sound is produced by striking a surface, also called concussion idiophones). Sangeet Saar considered one with 22 cups to be complete and one with 15 cups to be of mediocre status. Cups, of varying sizes were made of either bronze or porcelain. Today china bowls are preferred, numbering around 16 in normal use.

Cups for Mandra Swar (notes of lower octave) are large while those for Taar Swar (notes of higher octaves) are smaller. Water is poured into the cups and the pitch is changed by adjusting the volume of water in the cup. The number of cups depends on the melody being played. The bowls mostly are arranged in a half-circle in front of the player. The player softly hits the cups with a wooden stick on the border to get the sound.

[7400 Mauritania / 7400 Jalatarang]