Yazh, Ancient Musical Instrument - Informative & researched article on Yazh, Ancient Musical Instrument
 Indianetzone: Largest Free Encyclopedia of India with thousand of articlesIndian Music

 Art & Culture|Entertainment|Health|Reference|Sports|Society|Travel
Forum  | Free E-magazine  | RSS Feeds  
Indian Drama & Theatre|Indian Music|Indian Movies|Indian Television
Home > Movies & Entertainment > Indian Music > Indian Musical Instruments > String Instruments > Yazh
Yazh, Ancient Musical Instrument
Yazh is a direct ancestor of the musical instrument Veena. It is one of the ancient instruments.
 Yazh, Ancient Musical InstrumentYazh has been mentioned in many ancient Tamil works that shows the extent of popularity of the instrument. Tamil poet Thiruvalluvarmentions Yazh in his work Thirukkural. Many Tamil classical literary masterpieces written during Sangam age have mentioned this musical instrument. According to Cilappatikaram there are four kinds of yazhs: Periyazh with 21 strings, Makarayazh with 19 strings, Cakotayazh with 14 strings and Cenkottiyazh with 7 strings. The word Yazh is Tamil.

Yazh is an ancient instrument that was used as a primary instrument as well as an accompaniment to vocal music. Yazh lost its popularity when the Veena emerged. As the tip of the stem of Yazh was carved into the head of an animal called Yali it was named Yazh. The head-piece at the tip of the stem is retained even now as the head-piece in the Veena. This instrument was played with the fingers of both the hands and was tuned to a particular scale. By shifting tonic note or by retuning particular strings other scales were played on it. Yazh is considered as the precursor of the later Eka Raga Mela Veena.

Other varieties of Yazh are Seeri Yazh, Maruththuva Yazh and Adi Yaz,VilYazh which have been mentioned in ancient Tamil Literature. As an instrument Yazh had many limitations. Straight notes could be played and there were no facilities for playing Quarter-tones.

The senkotti yazh had a resonator which was covered with a wooden plank end. Its stem was a straight tube instead of a curved one. The sakota yazh had fourteen strings of which four were tuned in the lower register, seven in the middle octave and three in the upper one. The peri yazh might was a large sized harp with a boat-shaped pattar closed with leather and had twenty-one stings. The seeri yazh was a smaller version of the peri yazh.

The adi yazh is the first yazh. As per legends it was played to win over asuras during the kreta yuga, the first era of the world. It had thousand strings arranged in five octaves with two hundred in each.

(Last Updated on : 27/11/2014)
E-mail this Article | Post a Comment
More Articles in String Instruments  (54)
Tumbi  (7)
Veena  (4)
Cello  (3)
Sarod  (2)
Sarangi  (1)
Sitar  (1)
Recently Updated Articles in Indian Music
Pt. Kumar Gandharva
Pt. Kumar Gandharva was an exponent in Hindusthani Classical songs enthrals the audience while singing. His contributions to Indian classical music are of an exceptionally radical, yet unsurpassable quality.
Vasundhara Komkali
Vasundhara Komkali was a well-known name in the arena of Indian Classical music arena. She has created a niche for herself in the hearts of millions by her unique style of singing. She died on July 28, 2015.
Been is a type of wind instrument that is played mainly by the snake charmers, and is popular in Indian sub-continent.
Construction of Harmonium
Construction of harmoniums is an important step towards producing the correct sound in music.
Forum on Indian Music
Free E-magazine
Subscribe to Free E-Magazine on Entertainment
Yazh, Ancient Musical Instrument - Informative & researched article on Yazh, Ancient Musical Instrument
Contact Us   |   RSS Feeds
Copyright © 2008 Jupiter Infomedia Ltd. All rights reserved including the right to reproduce the contents in whole or in part in any form or medium without the express written permission of
Jupiter Infomedia Ltd.