The SwarShala Indian music software includes Kanjeera and over 80 other perfectly sampled virtual Indian instruments.

About Kanjeera:

Kanjeera (also called Khanjira, Khanjiri or Ganjira) is a handheld, circular drum that takes a major role in South Indian (carnatic) music.

Kanjeera has a round frame made of jackfruit tree wood on which a monitor lizard skin is stretched. An opening in the body also holds 3 to 4 metal disks that chime while the instrument is played. It is hold with one hand, with fingers touching the skin so that pressure can be applied to create modulations, while the other hand beats the drum rhythmically. It is always stunning to hear the variety of sounds and the rhythmical intricacies a talented player can perform out of such a simple drum.

Kanjira normally produces a high-pitched sound, especially when the monitor lizard skin is too dry. However, a lower pitch can be achieved by moistening the skin. This is done by wiping the inner part of the skin with a moist material, taking care that it shouldn’t be too humid or else the tone will die. To reverse this, one needs to dry the Kanjira for a few minutes.

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