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Bansuri

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Introduction of Bansuri

A bansuri is a side blown flute found in many parts of India and Nepal, and a musical instrument that is common in the North Indian or Hindustani classical music. It is an aero phone produced from bamboo, and a similar flute is called Venu in the South Indian or Carnatic classical music. The bansuri flute is an ancient musical instrument of the Indian subcontinent. It is called nadi and tunava in the Rigveda and other Vedic texts of Hinduism. Its importance and operation is discussed in the Sanskrit text Natya Shastra.

Bansuri is a special kind of flute available in India, which is made of a single hollow bamboo shaft engineered with six or seven holes, associated sentimentally with Lord Krishna, who as a player of this flute not only charmed the Gopika girls, but also mesmerised large number of cattle, his flute music in, fact bringing not only joy but also protection for the herds of cow around, due to which fact Lord Krishna acquired another name as protector of cows, Gopala.

 

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Origin of Bansuri

The word bansuri originates in the bans (bamboo) and sur (melody).

Popular musicians like PanditPannalalGhosh were responsible for bringing Bansuri to higher level classical music, experimenting with the instruments design in terms of length, bore and the interval between holes, arriving at the right size to perform melodies of lower octaves, ultimately bringing out Bansuris of bigger bores and an additional hole in the instrument, for getting into the nuances of the music.

Another musical legend who promoted Bansuri’s importance and fame was PanditRaghunathPrasanna, who tried various subtleties of music through this instrument, providing a strong footage to his Gharana by inducting his own family members into the art, while Flute maestros like Pt. BholanathPrasanna, Pt. Hari Prasad chaurasia, and PtRajendraPrasanna were his disciples, who rose to the fame of international level.

 

Playing Positions

Bansuri is played by blowing air by mouth through the hole in the right end, which is released through other holes plugged and released by the fingers of both the hands, the style of keeping this flute instrument is by itself would give an impressive appearance, while the player immersed in music one renders, with eyes closed face beaming with the satisfaction of giving good feast to the ears of audience, also reminding a devout Hindu, Lord Krishna playing His flute as every home in India would be exhibiting His picture in a posture of Lord Krishna holding the Bansuri kind of instrument, with his legs crossing although in a standing position.

The classical music is rendered through Bansuri in accordance with the musical system and architecture which follows a scale of seven notes, called SapthaSwara in Sanskrit, which are manipulated upward and downward renditions, creatively positioning each note to bring out the tune or Raga, which are based on 72 basic tunes called Melakarta Ragas, with right kind of accompanying Thalas which accomplish the rhythm, playing Bansuri requires lot of training and practice for one to give a musical rendition with Bansuri.

 

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How to Play Bansuri

 

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