The SwarShala Indian music software includes Tanpura and over 80 other perfectly sampled virtual Indian instruments.
Tanpura is a 4 to 6 stringed instrument that is a compulsory part of any Indian classical music practice or performance. Perfectly tuned, it provides a drone with the basic notes on which the raga can then flow. It is made of a gourd with a neck in precious wood. This wood used on the instrument has a slight curvature and is sealed to the gourd, then decorated with beautiful wooden inlay work in bone or ivory.
The upper bridge in Tanpura has small holes for the metal strings to pass through them. The distance between the upper and lower bridge decides the main instrument's pitch. There are male and female instruments, the latter being usually smaller in size.
Previously, the horns of Sambar deer were used to make the bridge, but now, camel bones or plastic are used instead due to the ban on using such products. A perfect bridge is crucial in deciding the tone of the instrument and increasing the richness of the harmonic backdrop. A small thread is inserted between the bridge and the strings to achieve a perfect tuning of each string.
A Tanpura will produce the best sound when placed in the proper position. It should be well-rested on the ground, with the player playing the instrument with folded legs resting his/her elbow on it. This position is ideal for the players as their hand is at such a height that they can easily pluck the strings one after the other in an endless cycle without much strain.
Try the free SwarShala demo that includes Tanpura along with various other Indian instruments by clicking on the "Try a Demo" button below.
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