Two of the new drums we got in are rope tuned. I didn't know how to rope tune a drum prior to this so i did a little googling and found this informative posting from drumcircles.net. happy tuning!
We have some new items in the booth over at Forest Hill Antiques. Come check out our new hand drums and wind instruments. For those of you who have purchased ouds, sitars or bouzouki's we are now keeping strings in stock and mizrabs.
I had the pleasure of catching a very entertaining and beautiful show at the Singleton Center on the VCU campus this evening. The group goes by the name Quux Collective. The pieces varied fairly significantly in compositional style, ranging from Experimental Electronic to Baroque Latin Fusion.
I was absolutely floored by "July" written by Michael Torke, the saxophones were beautifully complex and gently textured. I was quite literally carried away by them. "26.1" by Brian Cruse was a poignant examination of the bombing of the Boston Marathon, capturing a sense of unity and peace in the aftermath of tragedy. Another notable performance was of Roland Karnatz's "Spinning Turning". It was the opening piece comprised of samples of disks rotating on a surface (think of a quarter spinning on a table) projected around the audience by way of a surround sound system. It was captivating and set the stage nicely for the compositions that followed.
I am not certain when they will be playing next, but i highly recommend checking them out. You will not be disappointed.
This looks like it is going to be pretty amazing!
A Night of Mali Music
Featuring Fatoumata Diawara and Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni BaSaturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
See more at: http://modlin.richmond.edu/events/modlinarts-presents/mali-music.html
I just could not pass this up. we have the tiny balal
found this today...very nice. It has been a pretty busy week in general so i figured id take it easy on the post. enjoy the video.
"Jawari" is the process of optimizing the tonal quality of an instrument such as sitar, tanpura, veena. On a tanpura, the Jawari is opened by inserting a thread under each string on the bridge and sliding it until a noticable increase in the vibration of the string becomes evident. The thread literally raises the string such that it vibrates upon the bridge.
The bridge is called "Ghodi" (Ghoda means horse).
The act of filing the "Ghodi" is a part of the "Jawari" optimization process.
"Khulla" means open. Hence the timbre of the instrument is vibrant, bright and resonant. The string has a raised front half to create this tone.
"Bandha" means closed. Jawari gurus will usually lay the string with full contact with the bone surface to produce this type of tone. It has a dull sound but produces more sustain and triggers the sympathetic string more effectively
The above was excerpted from Raganet Issue #1
The videos below demonstrate the different tonalities achieved by the differing approaches to the jawari optimization process.
Vilayat Khan used a closed jawari.
Whle Ravi Shankar preferred an open jawari.
One of the things that makes the sitar such a unique instrument is that the frets are designed to be moved. This allows the player to further customize the instrument for the raga that is being performed. So not only is the instrument completely re-tuned for the raga, the frets can also be repositioned to match the natural scales that each tuning yields. Often when sitars are delivered the frets are not positioned correctly for any tuning. For the sitars in the shop, I position the frets in the Bilawal style (western ionian mode or major scale) primarily because i think that a major scale would seem more natural to western players.
When repositioning the frets it is very important to move the frets by applying equal pressure to the edges of the fret and the string across the back of the neck. This will help prevent the strings from breaking. It is unfortunate, but frequently the frets are tied onto the sitars before the shellack has dried on the neck. This often causes the strings to stick at first. Applying gentle pressure is typically all that is needed to free them, but the strings do tend to become brittle as a result of the dried shellack. Fortunately re-tying the frets is not terribly difficult. I will soon be keeping bundles of twine at the shop. In the meantime, however if you find that you need to re-tie a fret and you have no twine drop us a line and i will order some. Fishing line is also a viable substitute, never greater than 20lb test. It may take a couple of purchases to find the right weight line. I have also found it helpful to use tape to secure the fret from the top so that it remains upright while stringing it, allowing you to use both hands to wrap the twine.
The following diagrams illustrate the proper method to re-tie a broken fret.
The color photo was taken from the Ali Akbar college of music website.
Our last post focused on tuning the sitar. In my experience, you are far more likely to break a sympathetic string during tuning than any other time. I found a nice tutorial on how to restring a sitar here:
At first the procedures involved in replacing strings will seem foreign and far more intensive than changing strings on guitars, but with a little practice I am confident you will get the hang of it. Be sure to have a pair of wire cutters handy and a paperclip, pipe cleaner or other thin malleable piece of wire with which to form a hook.
We will be keeping strings at our booth in Forest Hill Antiques soon. In the meantime, If you are in need drop us a line and we will order them.
in our last post Ravi Shankar explained the origin of the Sitar's design. It is a very complex instrument with 7 main strings and 11-13 sympathetic strings that are not played. These sympathetic strings resonate when the main strings are played producing a drone. Tuning these instruments can be daunting at the start but with just a little practice you will soon see that it is easier than it seems.
Typically, the sitar is tuned to the raga that is being performed, as a result there isn't one standard tuning for the sitar the way there is for the guitar. In general folks seem to tune the sitar to c, c# or d if they are playing solo.
I have read that it is best to first tune the sympathetic strings and then to tune the main strings and this typically is what i do for the sitars in the shop. I have also found that a chromatic tuner that produces tones is very very handy as it is far easier to tune to the tone then it is trying to tune to the needle on the tuner. A gentleman by the name of Tim D. Russell put a series of tones out on the internet that is free for download. i have found these very useful as well. They can be found at the link below.