• 30.mandolin-01_2
  • viloin
  • 22.veena_
  • 20.uddukai1
  • 21.thavil2
  • 28.tarshennai-01
  • ghungroo
  • 18.tabla_
  • 17.swarmandel
  • 29.shursingar-01
  • 16.sitar_
  • 1.sangu_11
  • 12.sarod_
  • 13.sarangi1
  • 11.santoor
  • 14.shenai2
  • 27.mridangam1
  • 8.Morsing
  • 9.kanjira
  • 7.harmonium
  • 5.ghatam1
  • 4.e-tampura11
  • 3.dilruba2
  • 2.bansuri
  • 26.konnakol
  • 34.vocal_male2
  • 6.ghungroo1
  • 25.vocal_female2

The Kanjira


How The Kanjira sounds

The kanjira is a small handheld drum that resembles a tambourine. It consists of a circular wooden frame of jack wood, with a diameter of seven to eight inches and depth of approximately two inches. One face of the frame is stretched over with a thin layer of leather. The drum is usually held in the left hand and played by striking the leather face with the fingers of the right. A couple of small metal discs are attached to the frame.

Carnatic musicians often use multiple percussion instruments as accompaniment in a concert. While the mridangam is the most popular instrument for accompaniment, the smaller kanjira is a very versatile instrument that is used as the secondary percussion accompaniment.

The ganjira cannot be extensively tuned like the mridangam. Its pitch can be lowered, while playing, however, by thinly wetting the inside of the leather covering with water. The nature of this method makes it difficult to maintain the pitch of the ganjira throughout the concert, and requires judgment and expertise.

discover Where it's from


Performer Information

Prathap Ramachandra

Performer Name: Bangalore R Prathap

Musical Tradition:
South, carnatic

Website: www.gatambrothers.com

See The Kanjira in action

Did you know


Carnatic music concerts have a dedicated time for percussion solos called the ‘tani’. The percussionists have to follow the rhythmic pattern of the song that they are playing after. The mridangam leads, and other accompanists follow. At the end of the segment, all the percussionists present a section together before the song resumes.


Other instruments in this genre

viloinThe violin
22.veena_The Veena
20.uddukai1The Udukkai
21.thavil2The Thavil
1.sangu_11The Shankha
14.shenai2The Nadaswaram
27.mridangam1The Mridangam
8.MorsingThe Morsing
9.kanjiraThe Kanjira
5.ghatam1The Ghatam
2.bansuriThe Bansuri
25.vocal_female2Carnatic vocal (female)