Bansuri Information

CONSTRUCTION OF THE BANSURI AND PLAYING TECHNIQUE

The majority of Bansuris are made of an untreated piece of bamboo cane around which strings are tightly wrapped in several places. This is to prevent the bamboo cane from cracking. The Bansuri has a mouthpiece that is played in a similar way as the western transverse flute and either 6 or 7 finger-holes. These have to be precisely covered either fully or half by the phalanxes of the fingers and not by the fingertips. This technique of covering also simplifies the playing of longer Bansuris. By fluent movements of the fingers the typical sliding transitions between notes, so typical of Indian music, are achieved. The basic note given by us describes the Indian note "Sa" which is obtained by closing the first three finger-holes and then blowing the Bansuri. If you already have experience in playing a transverse flute, this will be advantageous for learning how to play the Bansuri.

HISTORY OF THE BANSURI

Up to the 20th century the Bansuri was regarded as a purely folkloristic instrument. Great Bansuri maestros such as mainly Pannalal and Hariprasad Chaurasia further developed the sophisticated playing technique of the Bansuri in such a way that the status of a classical instrument was achieved. Thanks to Hariprasad Charasia the repertoire of the instrument was extended by elements from the style of the plucked stringed instruments and by elements from the Dhrupad-Alap. Pannalal Ghosh, on the other hand, adapted the Khyal singing style and thus enriched the repertoire. As solo instruments mostly the longer Bansuris are used whose basic note is usually D - E.

DIFFERENT QUALITIES OF BANSURIS

The main features of a good Bansuri quality are durability, the ability to vibrate and precision of the vibration. In manufacturing, the choice of the bamboo is also an important quality factor. TARANG offer both, plain Bansuris from India, and also instruments for professional requirements with precise tuning, every one of which is checked by an Indian Bansuri maestro regarding its quality. The standard quality of Indian Bansuris produce a quite beautiful sound, but their tuning often does not exactly correspond with the western standard notes. It can happen that they sometimes sound slightly out of tune when overblowing or cross-fingering. Nevertheless we have a good quality on offer at an appropriate price.

MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR THE BANSURI

  • Oil the inside of the Bansuri with a good nut oil or mustard oil (available from Asian shops).
  • Use a stick which is as long as the Bansuri that is to be treated and wrap a cotton cloth soaked in oil (not too wet!) around one end of the stick. Insert it into the bamboo cane. Then oil the Bansuri only from the inside.
  • Important! After oiling the Bansuri repeat the process once or twice with a dry cloth and dry the oiled parts.
  • If you regularly play the Bansuri, repeat this procedure after 2 months, then after 4 months and then regularly every 6 months.
  • If you do not regularly play the Bansuri (say for one year) then oil it every 6 months.