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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Ghatam is the next important percussion instruments in the South Indian classical music vocal or instrumental, after the mṛdaṅgam. It is a large earthen pot carefully prepared so as to give a musical sound when beaten with the finger-tips and palms of the hands.

Unlike the mṛdaṅgam, the śruti or the tonic of the ghaṭam cannot be changed. Hence, the player of a ghaṭam generally keeps a large number of them to suit the different śrutis of the singers.


Modes of Music[edit]

Though the roots of Indian music are originally one, it gradually branched off into two systems:

  1. The North Indian - Uttarādi
  2. The South Indian - Dakṣiṇādi

The South Indian classical music retained its original flavor whereas the North Indian system attained a distinctness of its own. It happened due to the Persian influence wrought on it during the Mughal period.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore