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Manjira

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Introduction of Manjira

The Taal, manjira (also spelled manjira or manjeera), jalra, or gini is a pair of clash cymbals, which make high-pitched percussion sounds. In its simplest form, it consists of a pair of small hand cymbals. The word Taal comes from the Sanskrit word Tala, literally means a clap. It is a part of Indian music and culture, used in various traditional customs e.g. Bihu music, Harinaam etc.

In Hindu religious contexts it is known as karatalas, pronounced "karataala", (literally beat-tala maker-kara), typically used to accompany devotional music such as bhajan and kirtan. They are commonly used by Hare Krishna devotees when performing harinam, but are ubiquitous to all Hindu devotional music.

 

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Design

The Manjira instrument will generally of different metals such as bronze, brass, bell metal or copper zinc connected with a copper cord holder which is fixed through holes in centre, and the two parts of the instrument when struck together produces rhythmic tingling sounds,  pitch of the sound  changing according to the type of cymbals, in terms of size,  weight, and material of construction, the player of the instrument adjusting the timbre according to the requirement at the time of playing the instrument.

Manjira basically gives a metallic confirming note to the music, with wonderful melody of acceptance and agreement to the tune, because of this nod type of sound it makes, metaphors have developed on its term ‘jalra’ if one is unreasonably accommodative and agreeing to what the other says.

 

Playing Positions

Manjira occupies  a significant place  in the folk music of Gujarat and Maharashtra regions, while it is called Taal in Maharashtra ,  being played during Aarti rendered to the Deity, with a lamp or Dhoop, whilein these regions Manjira enjoys lot of importance in Bhajan, Dayro and Santvani.

Manjira is also used in music concerts as  an accompaniment and a very important property for the music team when assisting dance performances such as Bharat Natyam, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam, Andhra Natyam, Katha Kali etc, apart from its use by every folk singer.

 

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Uses

Manjiras are commonly played in folk and devotional music. They are played in various religious events and ceremonies in India and especially in bhajans. Manjiras are ancient musical instruments. Manjiras can be seen in many ancient temple pictures.

 

How to Play Manjira

 

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