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Udukke

Udukke

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

About Udukke:

The percussion instrument originates from the Tamil region of India. The traditional South Indian instrument used to be popular in Tamil Nadu Kerala, and the north and eastern parts of Sri Lanka. While it is larger than a Damaru, it still is smaller than an Edakka. In addition, the Udukke is also known as Udukkai, Hudukka, Huruk, Hudko or Udukku.

The ancient design of the Udukke represents the shape of an hourglass, similar to Edakka, albeit a bit smaller. The South Indian instrument is between 8 and 10 inches long, and its circumference is between 6 and 8 inches on both ends. And it tapers towards the center. Traditionally, kiln-fired clay was used to make the body of the Udukke. But, later on, wood variants of the Udukke showed up. The wood was preferably from a single hollow block of wood from the Jackfruit tree. Some regions are also known to make Udukke using brass bodies. Cured and dried animal hide, preferably goatskin membrane, covers the mouth at both ends of the Udukke. Hoops are set on the edge of the Udukke, and the strings are woven from end to end to tighten the skin around them.

Although the hourglass shaped Udukke has two sides, the Udukke players usually play it on one side only. The other side has 1 or 2 metallic wire snares, allowing the Udukke player to get more resonance. Also, to clasp the instrument easily, the strap made of cloth is attached to the middle of its hourglass figure. Sometimes, to decorate the Udukke, colored balls are attached to it, made of cloth. Udukke is treated as an accompaniment instrument by the musicians.

To play the Udukke, the player places it horizontally and plays it on one side only. Traditionally, it is the right side of the Udukke. The player’s left hand is used to hold the Udukke in its place, while the fingers and inner palm of the right hand are used to play the Udukke. The player can do pitch modulation by tightening or releasing the cloth strap.

Traditionally, the Udukke is used in folk and devotional music across India and the north and eastern regions of Sri Lanka. The Udukke is used in the AyyappanPattu, which is performed at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. Also, there are reports of the Udukke being prevalent in the ancient Jaffna, Sri Lanka, in the 19th century. Udukke is prevalent in several village temple festivals across Southern India.

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