Debate: Meta Tuning of Tanpura



We received a letter from Martin Spaink about Indian musician's preference of Electronic gadgets over the wooden Tanpura. Sociology, technology and times, apart from principle of evolution contribute to such debates. Martin Spaink is well-versed performer-teacher of Indian music. Radhika Rajnarain, an acclaimed artiste of Veena is also the managing director of Radel India Ltd. Dr. Sanjoy Bandopadhyaya is Director & Ustad. Allauddin Khan Professor, S.M Tagore Center for Documentation & Research in Languishing and Obsolescent Musical Instruments Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. Dr. S. Pathak teaches Sitar at Banasthali Deemed University.


There have been a few reactions to my initial sruti-box posting 'Use Real Tanpura' in Sruti 243. Having read Mr. Ramanathan's response, in which he mentions defects found through scientific research in the sound of the tanpura, I can only ask: Who tuned the tanpura for the test-session? Who had (or had not) taken care of the instrument before? Let any true master of sruti and svara tune a good tanpura and the resultant sound will be absolutely stable without any of the mentioned defects. ...more
We have read this whole thing earlier, published in Sruti magazine more than a year ago. We did respond directly to Martin Spaink but received no reply. This is one of the major fears we at Radel, had when we anticipated the effect of poor competition. ...more
Martin's response  
I wonder if any body disagrees with the richness of tone that we get from a nicely tuned Miraj male Tanpura [may be from Naskar and made by other makers too]. When you take a couple of them and may be three and tune them nicely that create an excellent ambience -- who would deny that? But, this is one part of the story. ...more

Other 1

Other 2

This refers to Tanpura's imperfection....more Martin's response  
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It is apparent that it is not only sound quality of Tanpura which moves our scholars and artistes. There naturally crops up the question of Raga-s, their characteristics. When physicists say that Acoustic Tanpura-s have some error, rather than derogate the quality of Indian classical music they reaffirm its mystic nature (SP)


Martin's View

Rajnarain's View

Sanjoy's View

N Ramanatha's Letter to Sruti

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