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cobra

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey all,

It's never been clear to me exactly where the string under the chanti of a tabla pudi should be placed.

Obviously, the string goes between the chanti and maidan, but how far under the chanti should it go?  Just under the chanti and well before the bearing edge?  Well under the chanti but just before the bearing edge?

My intuition is that it should rest above the bearing edge so that it does not interfere with the maidan's vibration.

What are your thoughts?
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taaliyan

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Reply with quote  #2 
Ideally quarter inch or less 
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cobra

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you for your response taaliyan.

I gather you think it should be just under the chanti and well before the bearing edge.  Please elaborate.  Why would the placement you suggest be ideal?
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david

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Reply with quote  #4 

It is important to realise what placing the string does.  For that we must consider what the chat does.

The sound of the vibrating dayan is modified by two actions.  The lower spectral components have their frequencies altered by the mass and geometry of the syahi.  The upper frequencies are attenuated by a dampening  action of the chat.  This dampening action is partly what makes the sound of the tabla what it is.  One does not automatically go and interfere with this.

Ideally there is a correct amount of dampening built into the head when it is made.  This is affected by the craftsmen when he trims the chat to the right width.

But sometimes this dampening action is too much.  It may be too much due to the inconsistencies of dealing with natural, materials. Perhaps it is due to an inexperienced craftsman. Perhaps it is a difference of opinion between what the user feels is correct amount of dampening vs, what the craftsmen used. Sometimes craftsmen simply fall back upon this as a technique that allows them to control the dampening after-the-fact.

For what ever reason, placing a small amount of string under the chat allows the chat to be lifted slightly above the maidan, thus reducing the dampening effect. It only need be lifted a millimetre or two for this to work.

So this brings up the question as to where the string should be. There is no one answer because this depends upon the geometry of the lip and the thickness of the string. On any dayan, if the string is paced too far in, it will fail to lift the chat at all. This will defeat the entire purpose. If the string is too shallow, the string /chat together will excessively dampen the head. This too will defeat the entire purpose.

You have to be guided by your eyes and your ears to know what the correct depth should be.

But let me stress that one does not automatically put the string in. One resorts to this only when necessary.

For those who are interested in these matters, check out "Manufacture and Repair of Tabla."

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cobra

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you David for such a detailed explanation.
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drtom

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Reply with quote  #6 
That IS a detailed and generous explanation.  Yet, it raises more questions.

Quote:
Ideally there is a correct amount of dampening built into the head when it is made.  This is affected by the craftsmen when he trims the chat to the right width.

But sometimes this dampening action is too much.


Though you don't make the suggestion outright David, you seem to indirectly suggest that trimming the chat might correct the over-dampening.

I have been tempted to try this but have thus far limited myself to the "string theory".  It's difficult enough procuring reliable pudis that I haven't yet had the courage to begin experimenting.

Have you tried trimming the chat David?  Has anyone tried trimming the chat?

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david

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Reply with quote  #7 
Yes, that is sometimes indicated, and I have done this with good results.  But due to the irreversibility of the process I generally do not do this, nor would I recommend this as a common approach.
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drtom

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Reply with quote  #8 
I suppose that what the string does is decrease the area of the chat that makes contact with the maidan, in effect trimming the chat.

Thanks for the insight.

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