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South India

Pronounced ("con-jeer-ah"), is a single-headed, small, wooden, round frame drum stretched with lizard skin on one side. The "kanjira" has one small cymbal inset into the wooden frame. This drum is played in the South Indian Karnatak music tradition. Talams are the rhythmic cycles found in South Indian music. There is a unique intricacy and rhythmic sophistication in South Indian music. Syllables are recited and each note sung has a related and exact position on the drum, hence, what you say is what you play! There are talams ranging from three-beat cycles to 108 beat cycles. Played with the hands, palms and fingers, water is applied sparingly to the skin which allows it to loosen and be tuned to the desired pitch of the piece. Pressure applied to the drum skin by the fingers and hand that hold the drum, allow the player to change pitch and play a melody. The other hand plays the rhythms by striking the skin in different areas using various finger and hand positions to create sound.

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The WORLD BEATS video features live, costumed performances of ancient, ethnic, percussive traditions. Aaron Plunkett puts it all together in this fascinating 33 minute program. SEE MORE...

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