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Drum of Gods

Drum of Gods
Mridanga, known as deva vadya (drum of Gods) is one among the most ancient drums of India. In any Carnatic music concert, it is the main percussion instrument. Mridanga owns a prominent place in Hindu sculpture, painting, and mythology. A number of deities including Ganesh and Nandi is depicted with this divine instrument. During Lord Shiva's Thandav, it is documented that Nandi had played the mridanga, that mesmerized and resonated throughout the worlds. The mridangam is considered as "Deva Vaadyam," or "Divine Instrument". 

The mridanga is constructed as a double-sided drum whose body is usually made using a hollowed piece of timber about an inch thick. The two mouths or apertures of the drum are covered with a goatskin and laced to each other with leather straps around the circumference of drum. These straps are put into a state of high tension to stretch out the circular membranes on either side of the hull, allowing them to resonate when struck. These two membranes are dissimilar in width to allow for the production of both bass and treble sounds from the same drum.

Irinjalakuda adorns a significant role in the history of mridanga. The famous ‘Korambu Mridanga Kalari’ of Irinjalakuda, has the credit of introducing mridangamela to the world of music. Mridanga mela was developed by the great maestro of Mridanga, late Korambu Subrahmanian Namboodiri, the founder of Korambu Mridanga Kalari, Irinjalakuda. Mridanga artists from Irinjalakuda have mesmerized venues across the world. According to Vikraman Namboodiri, "The bond with mridanga is more of an eternal bond sanctified by the divinity of music. A bond that is a lifelong commitment that shaped many lives in and around Irinjalakuda." Vikraman Namboodiri is one of the iconic figures of Irinjalakuda who is renowned across the globe for his contributions in the field of music. He has disciples spread over 10 nations and have taught over two thousand students during the past two decades. The fame of Irinjalakuda is set to grow as mridanga is receiving wide spread popularity in Middle East, Japan and in the European Union. The instrument have inspired many academic studies and research. 


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