Mridangam - The Greatest Chief Percussion Instrument

Mridanga, a percussion instrument, is the chief Laya Vaadya accompaniment in Karnatic Music.

Musical Instruments

Musical instruments can be classified into four kinds.
  • Thantri (Stringed) Instruments: These instruments are played completely based on strings. Ex: Veena, Gotu, Violin, Sitar, Sarangi etc.
  • Wind (Sushira) Instruments: These instruments are played by blowing the wind into instruments. Ex: Flute, Nadaswaram, Shahanai, Zaxaphone etc.
  • Percussion (Avanaddha) Instruments: These instruments are manufactured with the skin or leather of animals. Ex: Mridangam, Kanjira, Dolu (Thavil), Dolak, Tabla, Pakhavadyam, Dappu, Dhamarukam etc.
  • Metal (Ghana) Instruments: These instruments are manufactured with metal (loha) Ex: Bhajan Taalas, Morsing etc.

Laya Vadyas (Rhythmical Instruments)

These instruments are played purely based on Laya or Thaala. Ex: Mridangam, Ghatam, Kanjira, Morsing, Dolu, Dolak, Suddha Madhalam, Kole, etc.

In the above Laya Vadyas, Mridangam is the important and ancient instrument. In this instrument "OMKAARA" sound can be produced. Hence this instrument is called as the Chief Instrument among the above other instruments. Rest of the instruments can be used for Mridangam as Upa Vadyas (accompanying instruments).

Layaa Vadyas