Saturday, 9 April 2022



In the blogchatter’s A2Z campaign, I will be presenting blogposts on ‘EXCEPTIONALLY TALENTED INDIAN ARTIST’ in the alphabetical order.  Today, H– Hari shankar – Kanjira.  First few lines on the instrument - then about the artist.

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” ― Aldous Huxley

Kanjira is folk and a bhajan instrument of Tambourine family.  Manpoondia Pillai brought this instrument to a classical stage and used in the concerts of Carnatic music as a supporting instrument for the Mrudangam.

 Kanjira consists of a circular frame made of the wood, between 7 and 9 inches in width and 2 to 4 inches in depth. It is covered on one side with drumhead and the other side is left open. It is normally played with the palm and fingers of the right hand, while the left hand supports the drum but many play it differently using their left hand. Water is applied on the inside part of the instrument to get fine tunes.


Hari shankar is a famous artist and the only kanjira player to receive Sangeet Natak Akademi award. He has maintained his own bani (style) which is being adopted by many of his successors. He accompanied many stalwarts like Karaikudi mani, Umayalpuram k. sivaraman, Vellore Ramabhadran, and Manarkudi k. Eswaran in various concerts around the world. 

G. Hari shankar is responsible for furthering the complexity of modern kanjira playing in terms of advanced techniques for speed, power, rhythmic complexity and beauty in phrasingHe has trained well many disciples by sharing techniques and secrets of the instrument. He immensely contributed for the development of this art form. “Vyasa Vittal is a noteworthy disciple of Hari Shankar and he is successful in spreading the tradition to the next generation.

(I'm participating in #BlogchatterA2Z and hyperlink to

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