Indian Instruments - about TANPURA
The Tanpura is the instrument, which is regarded as an important part of classical Indian music. A distinctive quality of the Tanpura is its sound effect that is produced by the continuous playing of all the strings. It leaves an everlasting effect on the listener. Thus the Tanpura is an ideal auxiliary for Indian singing, soloist instrumental player, or modal creativeness.
A supporting plucked string instrument the Tanpura has its name from the blend of two words ‘tana’ means a musical phrase and ‘pura’ means complete. It is neither mentioned in the historical texts nor in the ancient Indian sculptures. But by the end of the 16th century, it was probably developed in the form that we see today. This can be seen in the Moghul miniature paintings.
The Tanpura is played without any changes throughout the whole musical performance. The richness of the sound that emerges from all the strings helps the singing resonance. Singers or instrumentalists can be supported by one or more Tanpuras.