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Mrudanga Swabodhini

Mrudanga Swabodhini
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Item Code: NAL752
Author: Mangudi R. Dorairaja Iyer
Publisher: The Karnatic Music Book Centre
Language: English
Edition: 2008
Pages: 128 (12 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
weight of the book: 140 gms
About the Book

Mrudangam is the classical drum of India. It rightly occupies an honoured place amongst musical instruments. Mrudangam playing is a great in India. It takes atleast four years for a person to attain a commendable degree of proficiency in playing this instrument. Whereas, in other countries, the drum is used merely to indicate time, here in addition to indicating time, the Mrudangam is used to provide a crossorythmical accompaniment to the music in a concert and the effect is very pleasing. Just as in the sphere of music one is able to show his creative skill, a mrudangam player also has ample opportunity of displaying his creative talents in his art.

A book explaining in simple language the art of playing this instrument has been a long felt desideratum. Mr. Durairaja Iyer himself a talented Mrudanga player has supplied this long felt want by the publication of this book. The lessons are given in a graded manner. The book will be of use to the students of the instrument. Others will fine it profitable to go through the pages of this book.



This is the first edition in English of Mrudanga Swabodhini (Mrudanga Self-Instructor) written by Mangudi R. Dorairaja Iyer in Tamil and Published by the author's long time friend Sri P.K. Moorthi. The Tamil Edition is an original book of its kind, appreciated by most of the Master, of Art and Musicologists and is now running its nineth edition. When compiling the Tamil edition, the author and publisher sat together for days and worked practically to compile the Chapters.

Urged by the wishes of rasikas in the northern region and overseas for Mrudanga Bodhini in English, the Tamil edition has been translated and transliterated in English by P.K. Moorthi, for the theoretical and practical lessons respectively and is now presented to you verbatim for easy learning and study.

There is an errate added in the end. The readers will please go through the errata also and would excuse inconvenience. I hope they will be benefitted by the study of this book and will yield good performers. We welcome constructive comments and suggestion for improvement.

We express our grateful thanks to the Principal, Kalakshetra, Thiruvanmiyur, Sri. S. Rajaram, and Mrudanga Vidwan Sri Palghat V. Ramanathan for their kind and appreciative forewords for the book.

We thank Sri Surabhi Printers, West Mambalam, for undertaking the Printing of this book involving technical details with personal interest.



It is really thoughtful to bring our Mridanga Vidwan Mangudi Shri Durairaja Iyer's book in Tamil Entitled, "Mrudanga Swabhodani", in English. A disciple of Thanjai Ankanna Naicker and Thanjai Vaidayanatha Iyer, Shri Durairaja Iyer is not only a well-known exponent of Mrudangam but he is also an expert in training students. The present English edition of the book which contains practical lessons presented in a simple style with illustrations will. I am sure, be useful to those students who cannot afford to learn directly from a Guru.




  Preface, Appreciations, Foreword and contents I to ix
  Sanctity, Parts and Property of Mrudangam 2
  Dimensions, Sruti Blend 4
Chapter 1 Practising lessons, Tha, Thi, Thom, Nam 5
  Exercise 1 12
Chapter 2 Practising Ki, T a 13
  Exercises 2 to 5 15
  Exercises 6 to 10 22
  Exercises 11 to 13 33
Chapter 3 Practising Tha Longu 34
Chapter 4 Details on Tala aspects Tala Chart 39
  Exercise 14 (Chatusra Eka Tala) 38
Chapter 5 Main Sapta Talas - 35 Talas - 175 Talas 51
Chapter 6 Exercises 15to 18(Farn Sylabbles, Eka Tala) 56
Chapter 7 Teka Syllables -(Ex. 19 to 23) 63
Chapter 8 Gathi Sub units, Ex. 24 72
  Exercises 25 Roopaka Tala 82
Chapter 9 Aksharas, Subunits 79
Chapter 10 Accompaniment to music 85
Chapter 11 Tisra Jathi Tripathi Tala 88
  Exercise No. 26 Misrachapu 89
Chapter 12 Exercise 27 [Tisra Rupakam] 92
Chapter 13 Special Combinations 94
Chapter 14 Varnam Exercise 28 105
Chapter 15 Prastaram, Mora, Mrudangam Sound 113
Sample Pages


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