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A thavil (Tamil:தவில்) or tavil is a barrel-shaped percussion instrument from Tamil Nadu. It is also widely used in Kerala especially in marriage functions. It is used in temple, folk and Carnatic music, often accompanying the nadaswaram . The thavil and the nadaswaram are essential components of traditional festivals and ceremonies in South India.
In folk music contexts, a pair of wider, slimmer sticks are sometimes used. Thanjavur is famous for thavil, so called Thanjavur Thavil. In Kollywood Filmi songs thavils are mostly used, Notable movies: "Thillaanaa Mohanambal", "Paruthiveeran", "Karagattakaran", "Sarvam Thaala Mayam".
Thavil is a traditional musical instrument of the ancient city of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. It is an integral part of the Carnatic music in Thanjavur. It is mostly made in Thanjavur and Valayapatti.
The thavil consists of a cylindrical shell hollowed out of a solid block of jackfruit wood. Layers of animal skin (water buffalo on the right, goat on the left) are stretched across the two sides of the shell using hemp hoops attached to the shell. The right face of the instrument has a larger diameter than the left side, and the right drum head is stretched very tightly, while the left drum head is kept loose to allow pitch bending. The larger face is higher in pitch than the smaller face.
The modern Thavil has a corpus that is bordered by a steel ring coated in plastic on which the two skins are fixed by metal straps. Both skins can be separately tuned.
The instrument is either played while sitting, or hung by a cloth strap (called nadai) from the shoulder of the player. The right head is played with the right hand, wrist and fingers. The player usually wears thumb caps on all the fingers of the right hand, made of hardened glue from maida flour. The left head is played with a short, thick stick made from the wood of the portia tree. It is not uncommon for left-handed players to use the opposite hands, and some nadaswaram groups feature both a right- and a left-handed thavil player.[ citation needed ]
Some master thavil players:
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Music of Tamil Nadu has a long tradition and history going back thousands of years. Music is a very important aspect of marriage and temple festival Tamil people.
Needamangalam (Nidamangalam) formerly Yamunambalpuram, is a town panchayat in Thiruvarur district in the Cauvery Delta of Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Needamangalam was originally part of composite Tanjore District during British Raj until 1997 AD. In the 18th and 19th century, it was also called Yamunambalpuram. Needamangalam is the headquarters of the Needamangalam Taluk. The town is located 20 km east of Thanjavur, 80 km east of Tiruchirappalli and 318 km south of Chennai. Needamangalam is a junction for two busy highways, (i) National Highway 67 is a National Highway in Southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka that runs from Nagapattinam, a sea-side town in Tamil Nadu to Gundlupet, Karnataka (ii) State Highway SH-66 connecting Kumbakonam with Adirampattinam via Mannargudi in Cauvery Delta.
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The udukkai, udukai or udukku is a member of the family of membranophone percussion instruments of India and Nepal used in folk music and prayers in Tamil Nadu. The drums are an ancient design of hourglass drums similar to the northern damaru and southern idakka. Its shape is similar to other Indian hourglass drums, having a small snare stretched over one side. They are played with the bare hand, and the pitch may be tered by squeezing the lacing in the middle. It is made of wood or brass and is very portable. It originated in Tamil Nadu as well. Other members in the family include thehuruk, hurkî, hurko, hudko or hudka, utukkai.
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Thillana Mohanambal is a 1968 Indian Tamil-language musical drama film written, directed and produced by A. P. Nagarajan. The film stars Sivaji Ganesan, Padmini and T. S. Balaiah, with A. V. M. Rajan, Nagesh and Manorama in supporting roles. It tells the story of Shanmugasundaram, a nadaswaram player who falls in love with Mohanambal, a Bharatanatyam dancer who reciprocates his feelings, but unfortunate circumstances and their egoistic nature prevents them from confessing their love for one another. How they overcome their self-created obstacles and those created by the people around them forms the rest of the story.
Kalaimamani Thiruvalaputhur T A Kaliyamurthy was a noted Thavil musical artist providing 'special' Thavil accompaniment to the Nagaswaram maestros.
The ottu is a double reed wind instrument, used in Carnatic music of Southern India to provide a drone accompaniment to the similar nadaswaram oboe. Like the nadaswaram, the ottu is a large conical instrument, some two and a half feet long. Unlike the nadaswaram, the ottu has no fingerholes, being intended to produce one constant note while playing. It is provided with several small tuning holes which can be stopped with wax to modify its note. In some cases, a shruti box may be used in place of the ottu due to its steadier sound. The player holds the instrument in their left hand, sustaining the sound by inhaling through their nose, and with the right hand, beats on a drum strapped onto a belt.
Thirumarugal Natesapillai Rajarathinam Pillai or TNR was an Indian Carnatic musician, nadaswaram maestro, vocalist and film actor. He was popularly known as "Nadaswara Chakravarthi" he is also guru of Karukurichi Arunachalam
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Kumbakonam Rajamanickam Pillai, 5 August 1898 - 1970 was a Carnatic music violinist of Tamil Nadu, Southern India.
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Valayapatti A. R. Subramaniam is an Indian classical musician and percussionist, considered by many as one of the foremost prominent exponents of Thavil also known as Dolu, a traditional percussion instrument in Carnatk music, accompanying windpipe instruments such as nadaswaram, saxophone, clarinet, etc, and string instruments like violin, mandolin, etc. He was awarded the Madras Music Academy's Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 2009. He is a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2007, for his contributions to Music.
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