Mridangam can be classified into two types. One is "Thagu Shruthi" and the other is "Sthaayi Shruthi".
1. Thagu Shruthi is used for Male singers whose Pitch ranges between B to C# (¾ to 1 ½). C# is called C Sharp. Thagu shruthi can be used for accompanying instruments such as Violin, Veena, Flute etc... with the pitch ranging from B to E (¾ to 3). See the table shown below.
2. Sthaayi Shruthi is used for Female Singers whose pitch ranges from F to A# (4 to 6 ½). A# is known as A Sharp. It can also be used for accompanying instruments mentioned above. The structure of mridangam can easily be understood with the shape, size and measurement details mentioned below.
Now, let's see the pitch table (Sruthi table or Chart)
In the pitch table, 'C' means Pitch '1', C# also denoted as DbC# is known as "C Sharp" which means Pitch '1 ½ ' , 'D' means Pitch '2', D# also denoted as EbD# is known as "D Sharp" which means pitch '2 ½' and so on.... Pitch 'B' in the lower octave ( bottom base Sadjam) is less than Pitch "C" Or "1"and so, pitch "B" also means Pitch '¾' (three-fourths of "C"). Below is the Tanpura Sruthi Player. "PL" button is playlist. Select desired pitch from "PL" and click play button in the center. Clicking Loop button twice to show will repeat selected track continuously.
Shape(Structure): Mridangam is a hallow double headed barrel (synonymous: cylindrical)
but broad at the center and gradually taper at both sides. The broad portion called "Arada" is normally placed at 1 ½ inches to the left side from the center. The thickness of the hallow wood must be 1 inch at the mouth of both sides. Some prefer ¾ to ⅜ of an inch. The proper sound and the "Karvai" (good length of vibration and Octave) depend on the thickness of the wood at both sides. If the thickness level is optimum, the quality of sound will be optimum.
Size: The length of "Thagu Shruthi mridangam" between the Karanai and thopi can be 24 inches to 26 inches. 24 inches is preferred. Diameter of the Karanai can be 6 ½ to 7 inches and proportionately thopi can be 7 to 7 ½ inches. The circumference of the center portion of the wood "Arada" can be 36 to 37 inches and its diameter is 12 to 12.5 inches.
The length of "Sthaayi Shruthi mridangam" can be 22 inches. Some prefer 20 or 21 inches. The circumference of the center portion of the wood "Arada" must be at least 33 inches and its diameter is 11 inches. Some prefer 36 inches and its diameter is 12 inches. The diameter of Karanai is 6 inches to 6 ½ (6 ½ is commonly used) and proportionately thopi can be 6 ½ to 7.
It is important to note that, when the diameter of the wooden mouth is high, the pitch is Low and Vice versa.
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