The nadaswaram is a wind instrument made of wood and metal that is found in both classical and folk traditions in South India.
The name is got from ‘Nada’ or pleasing sound and ‘Swaram’ meaning note. The sound of the instrument is considered auspicious, and it is used in temple concerts and religious festivals. The nadaswaram is accompanied by the thavil, a barrel shaped drum.
The nadaswaram has a long tube with seven finger holes. The parts of the nadaswaram are said to have different religious significances. The breath control needed to play the nadaswaram makes it a tough instrument to master and play. Several semitones and notes are achieved with immense force of the breath through the instrument.
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South Carnatic and devotional
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It is believed that the older the wood used for making a nadaswaram, the better the sound will be. Traditionally, the wood of the Aacha tree was used. Beams of wooden houses being torn down were also used to make nadaswarams because of the age of the wood.