The Ghatam is a bulbous earthenware jug from Southern India that is open at the top and has a narrow neck. It is placed in the lap or on a tabla ring and is played with the fingers of both hands. The belly, neck and upper rim produce different tone colours. A characteristic bass tone that can be modulated, results from beating the opening with the palm of one's hand. The Ghatam is already mentioned in the great Indian epic, the Ramayana. In the Punjab it is called Bada and in Kashmir Ghara; - in Southern India it is known as Ghatam. The Karnatic music often uses the Ghatam together with the Mridangam in the form of Sawal-Jawab (question-answer play). It usually consists of a mixture of clay, iron dust or other metallic components. For playing it, the finger technique of the Tabla is usually used, but the Ghatam can also be easily used for improvising.
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