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Jalatharangam – Musical Instrument

Jalatharangam is a musical instrument made using a set of porcelain bowls holding water. The word ‘Jalatharangam’ literally means water waves. The bowls are of varying sizes and are arranged in a semi-circle format in front of the performer. They are placed in an increasing order of size from left to right. More details:
  • The sound is produced by striking the bowls with two thin bamboo sticks one held in each hand.
  • The bowls are arranged in increasing order of pitch from left to right.
  • Change of pitch is achieved by adjusting the volume of water in the bowls.
  • The deep bass sound is produced by bigger bowls.
  • Smaller bowls produce high-pitched tones.
  • Medium and fast tempo can be achieved on Jalatharangam.
  • Deft hands of a seasoned performer strike on the rim of the bowls without tilting them.
  • Jalatharangam artists are very rare.
  • Anayampatti Village in Gangavalli Taluk in Salem District of Tamil Nadu is associated with Jalatharangam.
  • Anayampatti Subba Ayyar (1881 – 1961) was a great artist of Jalatharangam.
  • Other famous musicians of Jalatharangam are A.S. Dandapani and Kalayarkoil Subba Ayyar.