Indian flutes: Bansuri or Venu.
The bamboo flute is an important instrument in Indian classical music and developed independently of the Western flute. It may be older or contemporary with western flutes as Lord Krishna is described as a master player of bamboo flute, that sends history of Indian Bamboo flute at least 3000 years back from present times. The Indian flutes are very simple compared to the Western counterparts; they are made of bamboo and are keyless.
Two main varieties of Indian flutes are currently used. First the Bansuri has six finger holes and one embouchure hole, and is used predominantly in Hindustani Classical music of Northern India. The second, the venu or Pullanguzhal, has eight finger holes, and is played predominantly in Southern Indian Carnatic Music. Presently, the eight-holed flute with cross-fingering technique is common among many Carnatic flutists. Prior to this, the South Indian flute had only seven finger holes, with the fingering standard developed by Sharaba Shastri, of the Palladam school, at the beginning of the 20th century.
The quality of the flute’s sound depends somewhat on the bamboo used to make it, and it is generally agreed that the best bamboo grows in the Nagarcoil of South India.
Based on “Bharata Natya Shastra Sarana Chatushtai” Avinash Balkrishna Patwardhan developed a methodology in 1998 to produce perfectly tuned flutes for the ten “thatas” currently present in Indian Classical Music.
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