Reviving the sweet sound of jal tarang

Way back in 1949 a musical film, Jal Tarang, starring debonair actor Rahman and versatile Geeta Bali was screened. The film, known for its scintillating music, is also remembered for sharing its nomenclature with one of the oldest musical instruments.

Six decades later now, jal tarang, meaning waves in water, is rarely played out at musical concerts. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations has now taken the initiative to resuscitate this rarely heard instrument by hosting a musical event in the Capital this Friday.

One of the few musicians who are still playing this instrument is Manish Sharma. He will play it along with his illustrious grandfather Pandit Ghasi Ram Nirmal, who groomed him into the art.

ICCR president Suresh Goel said playing the simple instrument where music is created by using water placed in metal does not require any expenditure. “All one needs is a katori and a bamboo stick to play and produce scintillating music!”

Acknowledging that the country's oldest musical instruments are fast becoming a casualty due to the popularity of Western music, Mr. Goel said: “Sadly for the past one decade, jal tarang is hardly played at musical concerts. We are also planning to host jal tarang abroad with the aim to increase awareness about it. The music produced by it is very soft and sweet, close probably to piano.”

The performance by Manish Sharma is an attempt on ICCR's part to protect, preserve and encourage our traditional art forms, he adds.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 9:02:08 AM |

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