- Mridangam maestro Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan has been given the patent for the design of a lighter version of the mridangam by the Patent Office of the Government of India, the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks.
- The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks has given the patent under ‘drum’ category.
- Ramakrishnan has named the instrument made of steel and fibre ‘Sadmridangam’
- The instrument hardly weighs 5 kg.
Improvement over traditional mridangam
- Going by the literal meaning, mridangam is a musical instrument played softly. Traditional mridangam is made out of the wood of jackfruit tree and the weight varies between 15 kg to 30 kg.
- As a result, performers of this percussion instrument who accompany Carnatic musicians and dancers feel the huge weight of the instrument dampened the softness.
- Transportation was also a matter of concern. There are occasions when the performer had to carry it on his shoulders.
- The ‘sadmridangam’ hardly weighs 5kg which is much lesser than the traditional wooden mridangam. However there will be no compromise on the output.
- The improvised instrument with all the features of mridangam ensures more mobility for artistes.
- Cost-wise also, the Sadmridangam provides an advantage since it will be available at nearly one-third of the cost of the traditional mridangam which is priced around Rs 15,000.
- The mridangam is a percussion instrument from South India.
- It is the primary rhythmic accompaniment in a Carnatic music ensemble.
- Known as “Deva Vaadyam,” or “Instrument of the Gods”, the mridangam is often depicted as the instrument of choice for a number of deities including Ganesha (the remover of obstacles) and Nandi, who is the vehicle and companion of Lord Shiva.
- The mridangam evolved to be made of different kinds of wood due to its increased durability, and today, its body is constructed from wood of the jackfruit tree.
- With the development of the mridangam came the evolution of the tala (rhythmic) system.
- The mridangam is most widely used in Carnatic music performances.
- As the principle rhythmic accompaniment, the mridangam ensures all of the other artists keep their timing in check while providing support to the main artist.
- There are two main mridangam schools/styles called Puddukottai school and the Thanjavur school.
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