matching srutis

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matching srutis

#1  Postby essfour » 20 Aug 2011 16:01

I would like to know how to match sruthis for mirudangam

say i have 4 1/2 kattai mirundangam and the singer uses 6 kattai. how to adjust this mirudangam to play for 6 kaatai. the mirudangam
can not be increased t pitch 6.

any table would be appreciated.

essfour
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Re: matching srutis

#2  Postby uddhavadasa » 03 Sep 2011 14:29

Take to the mridangam artisan for retuning. He will need to change the black patch.
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Re: matching srutis

#3  Postby essfour » 06 Sep 2011 19:18

Thank you Uddhavadasa for your suggestion.

I am rather surprised that no other mastero is posting any reply to this request. I want to learn the basics of doing so.

essfour
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Re: matching srutis

#4  Postby mridhangam » 07 Sep 2011 10:31

Member

Normally a mridangam made for 4 1/2 cannot be increased to 6 sruthi with the leather rope attached to the instrument. But now a days some of the mridangam artistes use Nut-Bolt instrument types which allow for such large variations in sruthi. For tuning an instrument the measurement of the mouth of the mridangam is very important. There are various mouth-measurements for the right hand side to achieve the proper sruthi perfections. 6 1/2" measurement is generally good for sruthis for 5, 5 1/2 and 6. But when u use leather as ropes for reinforcing the left and right sides, an instrument made for 4 1/2 can be raised to 5 or maximum 5 1/4 sruthi only with the help of a small wooden piece inserter for all the 32 ropes with 4 ropes per wooden piece each. That will give a sruthi from 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 maximum if your instrument's moottu is new and what we call "Poy vaar pidi" is excellent while preparing the new moottu. (I dont know what to call this in english-if you dont know tamil i am sorry i cannot help in this phrase further). for 4 1/2 and lesser sruthis a shade higher than 6 1/2 mouth measurement is used for better sruthi-retention and also good naadam. Hence theoretically an instrument made for 4 1/2 in the strict measurement terms cannot be increased to 6 even if you take it to the artisan. Artisan might tie the leather straps very tight and get you to 6 at the shop but when you get back home and set it again it would have reduced. This has been my experience over the past 25 years or so. It is better to tune the instrument according to the nature of the instrument and its type than to over-stretch it beyond certain limits. An instrument set for 4 1/2 sruthi having its appropriate mouth-measurements when done moottu with excellent poy vaar pidi can give you in the beginning a sruthi of 5 1/2 but as the days go by it will automatically reduce to 5 under different temperature conditions. Until the black patch falls off you can play that instrument for 5 sruthi concerts. If you insert the wooden piece you can increase the sruthi to 5 1/4 sruthi only. Only on the next black patch filling you can get 4 1/2 sruthi.

These days the convenience is there in the form of Nut-and-Bolt types which allow for larger variations in sruthi will serve your purpose in question more than simple traditional leather type mridangams that you are asking now.

Hari OM
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Re: matching srutis

#5  Postby Nick H » 07 Sep 2011 14:22

Balaji, does forcing a mridangam to a higher pitch by over-tightening reduce the life of the black circle? Even though it is finely divided, stretching the surface it is stuck to must weaken the adhesion?

Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
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Re: matching srutis

#6  Postby mridhangam » 07 Sep 2011 14:46

Member Nick

It doesnt reduce the life of the black circle. the inner layer is a vibrating layer of the mridangam which is very thin and it may tear off due to over stretching. You will still be using it without your knowledge thereby resulting in loss of quality sound. More over the life of the moottu will drastically reduce by half or less of its span due to over stretching.

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Re: matching srutis

#7  Postby essfour » 08 Sep 2011 19:22

Dear Balaji,

Thank you for the detailed explanation. I fully understand that for each sruthi it is better to go for the right mirundangam vaagu.

I would like to rephrase my question.

During group singing like Thyagrajar aradhana , I was told that a mirudangam with pitch 1 1/2 that is c# can also suit for
people singing in 4 1/2 that is f#. some setiings like panchamam or madhyamam. I was also told though people singing in F# may not find this disturbing but they will
not be comfortable when they are singing songs with Pa or Ma note. I do not recall which one.

When you do not have any alternative mirudangam, how to increase or decrease say by half pitch to support singers pitch.

if it can be explained like following table ( it is only a representation may not be right also )

Mirudangam Sruthi Singers Sruthi

1 ( panchamam ) 5

Hari Om
Srinivasan
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Re: matching srutis

#8  Postby mridhangam » 09 Sep 2011 09:55

Sir,

During rendition of Pancharatna kritis it is better to use 1 as the standard (C) pitch irrespective of the corresponding sruthi for the ladies and without going into the details of whether it is Ma or Pa for ladies. If you have C as the constant sruthi most of the artistes (both ladies and gents) find it easy to render the Pancharatna kritis without any difficulty. Even though many artistes sing at various sruthis in a concert according to their choice it is better to use 1 as the constant sruthi for Pancharatna.

Coming to your question of increasing or decreasing the mridangam sruthi to 1/2 sruthi, i would suggest you to use the Kit (Like stone and woodden piece commonly called Kallu-Pullu in tamil) for the desired sruthi. Normal leather strap mridangams allow for 1/2 sruthi either way from the one for which it is made for.

Finally i dont think 1 1/2 and 4 1/2 are equal. 1 1/2 and 5 1/2 can be equal ...experts correct me if i am wrong.

Hari OM
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Re: matching srutis

#9  Postby essfour » 12 Sep 2011 19:50

Dear Balaji,

Thanks again for the clarifications.

Hari Om
Srinivasan
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