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The Pakhawaj (पखावज)

The pakhawaj is an Indian barrel-shaped, two-headed drum. It is the only accepted percussion instrument in dhrupad and is also widely used as an accompaniment for various forms of music and dance performances.

The alphabet of Pakhawaj

The alphabet of the Pakhawaj is composed of the following thirteen distinct sounds (पखावज के यह तेरह):

Letter Descriptive Image
1. tA (१. ता )
2. di (२. द)
3. thu (३. थू)
4. n (४. न)
5. ti (५. त )
6. T (६. ट)
7. k (७. क)
8. kat (८. कत)
9. g (९. ग)
10. din (१०. दं )
11. gi (११. ग)
12. N (१२. न)
13. dha (१३. धा)

Common beats or rhythm cycles

Various time cycles of pakhawaj are composed from this alphabet. During a performance, a time cycle (or beat) is composed of Theka, Upaj, Paran, Rela and Chhand. Every time cycle is composed of a certain number of beats. For example Chautal, a common dhrupad time cycle consists of 12 beats. Theka, Upaj, Paran, Rela, and Chhand in chautal are therefore played in 12 beats.

पखावज कR SवTभVन तालX इVहZ तेरह अ�र[ को Tमला कर बजाई जाती ह� | कायabम[ के दौरान इdछक ु ताल का ठेका, उपज, परन, रेला, और छंद बना कर बजाया जाता है | हर ताल कR मा$ाएँ तय होती ह�| जैसे चौताल १२ मा$ा कR ताल है | अतः ठेका, उपज, परन, रेला, और छंद सभी १२ मा$ा मX बजाये जाते ह� |

Improvisation during concerts

If a portion of the Upaj is repeated three times, its called a tihayi. The performers use the tihayi for synchronization. Arrival at the start of the time cycle together by the performers is often appreciated and applauded by the audience.

उपज का एक भाग अगर तीन बार दहराया ु जाए तो उसे 9तहाई कहते ह� | गायक और पखावजी दोन[ 9तहाई पर एक साथ आते ह� | इस तरह जब यह जगलबंदZ ु सम पर आती है तो बहत ु अdछा pतीत होता है और qोता इसका pोतसाहन करते ह� |






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The Pakhawaj


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