The Full Wiki

More info on bansuri

bansuri: Wikis

Advertisements

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

Bansuri
Other names Murali, Bansi, Baashi
Classification India\ Pakistan n Woodwind Instrument
Playing range

2.5 Octaves (six-hole), 3 Octaves (seven-hole)

Related instruments
Musicians
More articles

The bansuri (Hindi: बांसुरी);(Bangla: বাঁসুরী) is a transverse alto flute of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, made of a single length of bamboo with six or seven open finger holes. An ancient musical instrument associated with cowherds and the pastoral tradition, it is intimately linked to the love story of Krishna and Radha, and is depicted in Buddhist paintings from around 100 AD. It is intimately associated with Krishna's Rasa lila; the tunes on his flute are poetically associated with driving the women of Braj mad. The North Indian bansuri, typically about 14 inches long, was traditionally used as a soprano instrument primarily for accompaniment in lighter compositions including film music.

Contents

History

The word bansuri originates in the Sanskrit bans [bamboo] + swar [musical note]. There are two varieties of bansuri: the transverse, and the fipple. The fipple variety is usually played in folk music and is held away from the lips like a whistle. Because of the flexibility and control it offers, the transverse variety is preferred in classical music.

Pandit Pannalal Ghosh (1911-1960) elevated the Bansuri from a folk instrument into serious classical music.[1] He improvised with the length and number of holes and eventually came up with longer bansuris with larger bores and a seventh hole placed 90 degrees around from the line of the other six holes. Longer bansuris provided better coverage in the lower octaves.

Playing

Bansuris vary in length. They range from about 12 inches up to about 40 inches. 20-inch bansuris are common. Another common and similar Indian flute played in South India is the venu. The index, middle, and fourth fingers of both hands are usually used to play the six hole bansuri. For the seven hole bansuri, the fifth finger (pinky) of the right hand is usually used.[2]

The sound from a bansuri comes from resonance in the air column inside it. The length of this column can be varied by closing or opening the holes. At the same time, keeping a hole half-open helps in getting a flat note. The 'sa' (on the Indian sargam scale, or equivalent 'do' on the octave) note is obtained by covering the top three holes from the mouth-hole. The higher and lower octaves are played by changing one's embouchure. The flat portion of fingers, and not the tips, are used to cover the holes as this gives better control and ease while playing the half-holes. While playing, the sitting posture is also important and care must be taken so that the back is not strained for long hours. Bansuris of different sizes are used to play different octaves. The longer bansuris with larger bore are usually for lower octaves and the slimmer ones for higher octaves.

In order to play diatonic scale on a bansuri, it is important to find where the notes lie. For e.g. in a bansuri where Sa or the tonic, played always by closing the first three holes, is equivalent to D, you can play sheet music by creating a finger notation that corresponds to different notes. A bansuri player is able to achieve the complexities of Raga music such as microtonal inflections, ornamentation, and glissando by varying breath, fast movement while playing both half and full holes, and covering the holes gradually.

Famous masters of the bansuri include Pannalal Ghosh, Vijay Raghav Rao, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Nityanand Haldipur, Raghunath Seth, and Devendra Murdeshwar.

Advertisements

Sound Samples

Bass Bansuri Flute (above 30 inches)
Regular Bansuri Flute (20 to 28 inches)

Notes

  1. "the Legacy of Pandit Pannalal Ghosh". David Philipson, CalArts School of Music. http://music.calarts.edu/~bansuri/pannalal.html. Retrieved on 2007-06-26. 
  2. Leifer, Lyon (2005). How to Play the Bansuri: A Manual for Self-Instruction Based on the Teaching of Devendra Murdeshwar. Rasa Music Co. ISBN 0976621908. 

See also


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Wikipedia-logo.png
Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Etymology

from Hindi बांसुरी

Noun

bansuri

  1. a bamboo transverse flute used in the Hindustani classical music of North India

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message