Pakhawaj Info.

in Info, Pakhawaj

Pakhawaj is a barrel-shaped, two-headed drum also known as ‘Mother of North Indian Drums’. It is also called by various names such as pakhavaj, pakavaj, pakuaj or pakhvaj.

It has a very amazing story associated with it. It is said that once a famous musician, Amir Khusrao was playing Pakhawaj. While playing, it accidentally broke into two pieces and he found that the instrument still made a melodious sound. This was how the tabla was originated.

It also holds a religious significance as it was used by Lord Ganesha. It looks quite similar to Mridangam, which is another percussion instrument used in South of India.

It is used as the main instrument for dhrupad vocal music as well as dhrupad style performances on Rudra Veena & Surbahar.

The shell of pakhawaj is barrel-shaped and its heads look like the heads of tabla. The only difference is that the bass head does not have a black spot at the center instead it has a temporary application of paste made from mixture of  flour and water. The heads are attached to each other using a leather lacing made from calf or goat hide. It also contains wooden braces between the leather thongs and the shell so as to control the tension.

It is played by setting horizontally on a cushion like cloth in front of the player sitting crossed legged. The larger bass-skin is played using left hand, the right hand for the treble skin(smaller head). The position is reversed for the left-handed players.

Pakhawaj forms an essential part of ancient Indian devotional song concerts. Pakhawaj always took a lead position whenever any musical composition about Indian spirituality was made.

The soft and modest tone is one of the major quality of Pakhawaj. The fact cannot be refused that Sound of pakhawaj is so pleasing that is creates a passion in the minds of all who hear it. The enchanting sound is so attractive that audience wants to hear it again and again.

Some of the famous pakhawajists are: Arjun Shejwal, Bhavani Shankar, Pratap Patil, Kunal Patil, Durga Lal, Talib Hussain, Dalchand Sharma, Partha Ghosh, Manik Munde, Sukhad Munde, Mohan Shyam Sharma, Ravi Shankar Upadhyay, Ramashish Pathak, Prakash Shejwal, Chitrangana Agale-Reswal etc.

Famous Manufacturers of Pakhawaj in India are: Maharaja Musicals, Sai Musicals, Delhi Musical Store, Sathyadeep musicals, Bina Music Store etc.

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