Shruti Box Mata Hari
A high-quality musical instrument with large bellows that provide a full sound, even when several valves are open.
This accompaniment instrument from classical Indian music is nowadays widely used to support mantra singing, world music and folk music.
- The frame is made of wood and the sides are made of MDF.
- Metal carry handle on top.
- Comes with a black carrying case.
- Tones from c to c '.
- Measurements: 36cm x 27cm x 6cm.
Can be used as an altar instrument, during healing ceremonies, etc
Each instrument is handmade and may therefore differ slightly in terms of execution from this description / photos.
THE SHRUTI BOX
The Shruti box, also called surpeti, is a perfect instrument for world music, improvisation, voice work, overtone singing, music therapy and all kinds of Indian music. It gives a full, supportive buzzing sound (“drone”) and is sturdy, mobile and extremely easy to handle. To get started, you must first unlock the wooden latches of the bellows on both sides. Then open the sliders for the notes you want to sound. Finally, gently move the bellows to one side and the music will sound!
WHO IS THE SHRUTI BOX SUITABLE FOR?
The Shruti box does not need to be tuned and does not require extensive playing technique. This instrument is therefore suitable for musical beginners as well as for professional musicians, teachers, therapists and artists. The box produces a pleasantly natural acoustic blanket for any kind of music and allows you to stay focused on singing, talking, watching or moving while playing.
The Shruti box produces a powerful carrying buzzing sound and is extremely easy to play. It is ideally suited for accompanying Indian music, voice work, improvisation, overtone singing or Indian wind instruments, especially the bansuri (bamboo flute). The sound and tone production is comparable to that of a harmonium or an accordion: metal straws in the instrument vibrate the air that passes past it. Air movement is controlled by two bellows on either side of the instrument. One side has 13 levers. When opened, air can flow out from the inside and the straw under the handle creates a note. The Shruti box covers a full octave of 13 chromatic semitones. That way you can freely choose a tone that best suits your specific needs. For a particularly rich and full sound it is recommended to add a fifth or a lower fourth to the tonic. Any other combination is of course also possible. The advantage of this instrument over a harmonium: smaller, lighter, cheaper, easier to transport and to play.
HOW TO PLAY
The Shruti box can be played with one hand while sitting, standing or even walking. First you need to open the side handles, which lock the instrument. Then open the sliders for the desired tone - this side of the instrument should face you. Now place your hand on top of the instrument and push the side without the handles towards yourself. The volume can be adjusted by varying the tempo and pressure applied to the bellows. When you release the pressure from your fingers, the bellows will automatically expand and you can press again to get a continuous sound. By putting your hand through the handle of the instrument, you can carry and play it with one hand at the same time. Alternatively, you can also thread a strap through the handle and hang the instrument around your neck.
TIPS FOR PLAYING
It is best to keep the Shruti box on a flat surface or a stable surface. Alternatively, it can be carried by the handle to allow free movement while playing. Volume and continuity of the sound depend on the speed of movement and pressure on the bellows. You will get a feel for it in no time. A particularly round and beautiful humming sound is created by adding the fifth or fourth note above the selected root note (also called “tonic”). Other combinations of notes are also possible, depending on individual preference - from major chords to dissonant clusters. But beware: more sounding notes mean more air consumption - harder pumping is required to maintain a stable sound!
The Shruti box was developed from the European harmonium, which was brought to India by missionaries in the 19th century. It is also called a surpeti and has traditionally been used mainly for the vocal accompaniment of folk and religious music. The lack of a keyboard makes it a pure drone (bourdon) instrument. Drone instruments continuously sound single or multiple tones whose uninterrupted presence creates an open space of sound. This space can be filled in by melodies or other musical structures. The concept of the drone is an essential part of Indian music.
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