Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Indian Instruments : Nadaswaram

The next in the series of Indian Instruments after the Indian Flute that we will see is the Nadaswaram[1] or Nagaswaram.

The Name: Nadaswaram or Nagaswaram?

Firstly the name of the instrument. This instrument has been called by different names which includes popularly Nadaswaram, Nagaswaram, Nayanam, Nagachinnam. The fact that this instrument resembles a snake in its look probably was the reason it was named as Nagaswaram or Nagachinnam. In Tamil, Naagam(நாகம்) means serpent or snake. In Muthuswamy Dikshitar's Kriti, tyāgarāja mahadhvajārōha[2] about Lord Siva, Dikshitar mentions in the anupallavi or the second stanza of the song, ....nāga svara maddaḷādi vādyaṃ[2] Lord Siva as the One who is accompanied by the music of Nagaswara and Maddala.