Chennai Mathematical Institute


3.30 p.m.
Studies on South Indian Drums: Classification and Ethno-Musicological Studies

N. Somanathan
Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai.


India is very rich with tradition of innumerable number of drums. In South India, the sounds from the drums have been an integral part of life activities including music. Appropriate drums of varied shape and construction have been used for definite purpose like marriage, death, war, communication, dance, music etc. Old Tamil literature cites and gives information on more than 50 drums apart from the classification of the above. A scientific study has been undertaken on the basis of this information to know about the basis of classification of these drums. The results show that unlike western classification, the basis of the classification of South Indian drums is the sound produced from them. The scientific study on skins (referred in ancient Tamil Literature) used in drums also reveal the significance of micro structure of the skin on the sound produced, its purpose and utility of usage and the classification. The talk also will highlight the significance of the properties of woods used for the drums towards the sound produced.

---------------------------------------------------------------------- Dr. NARAYANASASTRI SOMANATHAN, is Scientist EII, (Senior Assistant Director), Polymer Laboratory, Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai.

He has a Ph.D. in Chemistry (Bio-physics) and in Humanities. He has more than 31 years experience in the structure property relations in polymeric materials and has more than 90 publications in international journals of repute and peer reviewed International proceedings, 5 Indian patents and one American, U.K. and Germany patents. He is working as a Freelance researcher in Indian musicology for the past 30 years interlinking the science and Humanities (fine arts and music)

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