Manjira is a conventional musical instrument from India. In its simple form it is a pair of small hand cymbals
. It is also known as tala, manjeera, jalra, kartal or khartal. This instrument is often played with numerous religious ceremonies of India, especially bhajans. The manjira is a traditional instrument, whose pictures have been found in temples dating back to the ancient times.
This instrument is generally made of brass, bronze, copper zinc or bell metal and is connected with a copper cord which passes through holes in centre, and produces rhythmic tinkling sounds when struck together. The pitch of the sound varies according to the weight, size and material of the construction. While playing the instrument a player cam also look to adjust the timbre by varying the point of contact.
The Manjira also consists of wooden frame with two straight, long handles that connect to each other with two short wooden handles; the open space between the long handles has a wooden separator that separates two rows of three brass cymbal. There are also small cymbals fixed into wood blocks forming another type of instrument also known as khartal.
Gujarati Folk Music
Manjira has an important role in Gujarat folk music. To start with Manjira were played during the Aarti
of Gods and Goddess. Manjira as a notable impact in the state of Gujarat
and often played during Santvani, Bhajan and Dayro.
Inspite of the fact that it is a metal instrument which is quite small in size, the sound it emits is quite sweet. It produces great sound during Jugalbandhi with other instruments. However, this instrument is not easy to play, and requires a lot of practise and clear knowledge of Taal and Sur. Unlike other musical instruments like Tabla
, this instrument did not get the appraisal or recognition that it deserved. There are very few Manjira players in Gujarat, who perform and have expertise in it