Jalatarangam in Sanskrit, literally means 'water waves' ('jala' means water and 'tarangam' means waves). It is an ancient solo instrument, usually accompanied by the mridangam and is found mentioned in ancient literature.


Construction: The Jalatarangam consists of a set of porcelain bowls of varying sizes that are filled with water according to the pitch / note required. These bowls are arranged in a semi-circle in front of the performer in the decreasing order of their size, from left to right.

Tuning: Adjusting the volume of water in the bowl changes the pitch. While the bigger bowls produce a deeper sound, the smaller ones produce a sound that resembles the tinkling of tiny bells, giving a very exotic effect. 

Posture and playing technique: The bowls are struck with two thin bamboo sticks, one held in each hand. Compositions of medium and fast tempo can be played most effectively on this instrument although the very nature of the instrument precludes the execution of certain gamakas unique to Carnatic music. 

Musical Expressions

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