Mridangam Paste

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Dhani_
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Mridangam Paste

Postby Dhani_ » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:56 am

Hi,

Can someone tell me exactly how the paste which is applied to the bass side of a mridangam is made? I have heard of several different kinds of ways to make it, but don't know any of them in much detail. If someone could tell me the most common method, that would extremely useful.

Thanks!

Dhani

Djinn Fizz
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Re: Mridangam Paste

Postby Djinn Fizz » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:27 pm

Mix chickpea flour with water careful to not make it runny. Shape it and size
it to suit and press it on.

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Dhani_
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Re: Mridangam Paste

Postby Dhani_ » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:40 am

Oh, it's that simple! Thanks.
Um... do you know where I can find chickpea flour?

Djinn Fizz
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Re: Mridangam Paste

Postby Djinn Fizz » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:53 pm

Your local supermarket? If not, certainly at Indian grocery shops. At worst, you could
get it online from places that sell ingredients for Indian cuisine.

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povster
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Re: Mridangam Paste

Postby povster » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:43 am

On my pakhawaj I use plain old wheat flour (white as opposed to whole wheat) and water. As djinn fizz says, mix it with water so it forms a thick paste - not runny. Knead it a little so the water and flour are nicely incorporated. Too dry? Add a bit more water. Too runny? Add a bit more flour. It will stick nicely and provide the proper bass oomph.
...Michael
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nicneufeld
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Re: Mridangam Paste

Postby nicneufeld » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:32 am

Dhani_ wrote:Um... do you know where I can find chickpea flour?


From a culinary perspective, chickpea flour is usually available at Indian markets, often marked as "gram flour" or "besan". I know nothing of its applicability to drums, but it certainly makes a nice batter for fried pakoras!

sridharrajagopal
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Re: Mridangam Paste

Postby sridharrajagopal » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:20 pm

Hmm ... till now I had only known about Semolina (Rava) being used. Alternately, people also use Blue Tack (or any other similar kind of tack) that you can get in any hardware store. The advantage of blue tack is that it can be left on, while semolina (or chickpea flour) will have to be removed after playing, so it doesn't harden.

Here's an interesting link - http://www.mridangam.com/mrdangam.html

-Sridhar

martin spaink
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Re: Mridangam Paste

Postby martin spaink » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:29 pm

I've toured with many musicians, both from Hindustani and Carnatic sangeet. The pakhaawajis were using 'aartha' which is a whole wheat flour, which is prepared before the concert, kept in a plastic bag and applied to the skin just before the soloist finishes alaapa , and usually kept a bit moist by spraying water on it . A good quantity of dough is used to tune the fundamental of the right-hand side, I would often make jokes about eating rotis etc. when the pakhaawaji went into the kitchen.
When touring with T.R. Sundaresan, a great mridangamplayer, I noticed he used a tiny ball of synthetic tack, gotten from a toy-shop, something like sillyputty. Just a round ball of 1cm would be enough for him, same as two other players I met. Well I suppose it is so because the pakhaawaj has a larger diameter drumhead and more enclosed air compared to a mridangam, and a deep booming karaj is sometimes wanted. In this aspect Carnatic is 'lighter', without the 16-foot register!



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