INDIAN MUSIC FORUMS

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cobra

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Reply with quote  #1 
Greetings,

I'm trying to figure out how to apply the "Karanai" or "Soru" on a mridangam head.  I've researched and asked everyone I can think of, but can only get very vague descriptions of the ingredients and process.

Does anyone have any idea where I can get details on this?

Thank you for any help you can offer.
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khitchdee

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Reply with quote  #2 
You could try atta or wheat flour.
They use that on the pakhawaj which is very similar.
I would use as little water as possible to make the paste
so it hardens nicely,
and I would apply it in layers to get better control over the formation of the paste.
In a tabla, for example, the formation is high at the center and tapers off towards the circumference.
The tabla's shyahi is typically applied in concentric circles
starting at the center and spiralling outwards.
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drtom

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Reply with quote  #3 
That's an interesting suggestion khitchdee.

I am by no means an expert on the pakawaj, but I believe atta is used on the bass side of a pakhawaj much as the temporary paste used on the bass side of a mridangam.  I do not think atta would produce the tonal qualities of the paste normally applied to the treble side.  I also think it would crumble soon after drying.

I have experimented with some success with a paste that contains clay and iron oxide (would have used iron ore but only had iron oxide at the time).  Your suggestion to apply the paste in layers is correct, though not for the purpose of controlling the form.  The form results naturally from the application.  Each layer should be applied and allowed to dry and develop it's discreet fragments before the next layer is applied.  This will allow all the fragments of each layer to vibrate in independent harmony.

This may not be what you were hoping for cobra, but it might help.

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khitchdee

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hello @drtom

Regarding each applied layer behaving as a separate fragment and vibrating independently,
I would check my facts about that.
i.e. What is the basis of that observation?

Also, with the right consistency, I don't think the atta would crumble.
My guess is atta is applied to both sides of a pakhawaj.
Don't see why you would use 2 different materials for the same purpose.

Using a tabla like paste on such an instrument goes against its design
since it is not meant to be permanent.
That seems to be what you've experimented with.
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drtom

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Reply with quote  #5 
Greetings khitchdee,

The main reason I joined this forum is because I have much to learn, so I appreciate your feedback very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khitchdee
Regarding each applied layer behaving as a separate fragment and vibrating independently,
I would check my facts about that.
i.e. What is the basis of that observation?


Please read my previous post and you'll see that I do not make that observation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khitchdee
Also, with the right consistency, I don't think the atta would crumble.


Never having tried it, I cannot say for sure that atta would crumble.  That's only an educated guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khitchdee
My guess is atta is applied to both sides of a pakhawaj.
Don't see why you would use 2 different materials for the same purpose.


There's no need to guess here.  Atta is applied to the bass side of a pakhawaj.  The treble side is constructed much like a tabla pudi.  Two very different materials are used because two very different sounds are desired.

Thank you again for your feedback, and please do correct me if I'm wrong.

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khitchdee

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Reply with quote  #6 
@drtom,

you do make that observation
and to be honest, it's putting your foot in your mouth
it de-values the rest of your post
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cobra

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you for the suggestion khitchdee.  I think drtom is right about the flour paste being appropriate for the bass side but maybe not for the treble.

From my research I gather that drtom is on the right track in his mention of the fragments (not the layers as you seem to have misunderstood) vibrating in harmony.  When I've looked at the karanai of a mridangam or the syahi of a tabla, I've seen many fine cracks that suggest what drtom describes.

I'm going to look into this formula that includes clay.  It's the best lead I've gotten so far.

Thank you both.
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khitchdee

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Reply with quote  #8 
"From my research I gather that drtom is on the right track in his mention of the fragments (not the layers as you seem to have misunderstood) vibrating in harmony.  When I've looked at the karanai of a mridangam or the syahi of a tabla, I've seen many fine cracks that suggest what drtom describes."

That's baloney.
The primary modes of vibration of any circular drum are radial.
The role of the shyahi is to resonate the primary mode.
It does this as a whole.

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cobra

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by khitchdee
That's baloney.


Thank you for your gracious opinion.  [smile]
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taaliyan

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Reply with quote  #10 
The pakhawaj uses the same iron mixture with lehi (made with whole wheat flour on the treble side) and atta (dough made with wheat flour) on the bass side. The Atta is made just prior to playing and removed post the playing. We usually use a plastic spatula as a scraper to keep it clean post playing. 

The karnai for the mrindangam is applied in a similar manner with cooked rice instead of lehi. This is applied in layers and scraped off partially in subsequent layers both  for tuning and the final shape. The ratio of the rice paste and iron oxide mixture varies for each layer. The first layer will be more starchy and gluey. The subsequent layers will be less starchy. 

If you need some of the mixture please email me . I can send you enough for a single drum.
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Proxmire1

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drtom
That's an interesting suggestion khitchdee.

I am by no means an expert on the pakawaj, but I believe atta is used on the bass side of a pakhawaj much as the temporary paste used on the bass side of a mridangam.  I do not think atta would produce the tonal qualities of the paste normally applied to the treble side.  I also think it would crumble soon after drying.

I have experimented with some success with a paste that contains clay and iron oxide (would have used iron ore but only had iron oxide at the time).  Your suggestion to apply the paste in layers is correct, though not for the purpose of controlling the form.  The form results naturally from the application.  Each layer should be applied and allowed to dry and develop it's discreet fragments before the next layer is applied.  This will allow all the fragments of each layer to vibrate in independent harmony.

This may not be what you were hoping for cobra, but it might help.


Whats the difference between ore and oxide as far as tuning paste is concerned?
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drtom

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxmire1
Whats the difference between ore and oxide as far as tuning paste is concerned?


That's a good question to which I don't know the answer.  I've asked the question myself and done some research, but there's just no definitive source to go to - at least that I'm aware of.

Hopefully someone that does know will chime in.

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drtom
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