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South India

Pronounced ("mur-dung-ughm"), is a two-headed, double conical-shaped drum of the South Indian Karnatak classical music tradition. Played with the hands, palms and fingers, this drum is tuned with a hammer on one side, while the other side is tuned with a gob of cream of wheat or maya stuck in the center of the drum to achieve the desired pitch. The gob end of the drum is played by the left hand and acts as the bass drum, and is capable of many tones, which can be varied by degrees of pressure from the base of the left palm. Talams are the rhythmic cycles found in South Indian music. There is a unique intricacy and rhythmic sophistication in South Indian music. Syllables are recited and each note sung has a related and exact position on the drum, hence, what you say is what you play! There are talams ranging from three-beat cycles to 108 beat cycles.

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The WORLD BEATS video features live, costumed performances of ancient, ethnic, percussive traditions. Aaron Plunkett puts it all together in this fascinating 33 minute program. SEE MORE...

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