The Ghatam is one of the oldest percussion instruments of South India. A very popular secondary percussion instrument played with the mridangam, it is now used extensively in percussion ensembles globally.


Construction: The ghatam is a specially designed clay pot, usually made of a mixture of clay baked with brass or copper fillings and a small amount of iron fillings.

Tuning: The pitch of the ghatam varies according to its size. Each ghatam has an inherent pitch of its own, but can be altered marginally by the application of plasticine clay and water to the insides of the pot.

Posture: The performer sits cross-legged with the ghatam on his lap, the mouth of the instrument facing his belly. At times, the ghatam is turned around, so that the mouth faces the audience, and the performer plays on the neck of the ghatam. Sometimes, the performer tosses the pot in the air and catches it, in rhythm, much to the delight of the audience.


Musical Expressions