The Kanjira (South Indian Frame Drum) is one of the most popular instrument in the family of tambourines.  It is made out of Wooden rim from Jack fruit tree (mostly available in the east asia countries) having approximately 2″ to 2 1/2″ inches deep and the total diameter of the wooden rim will be in the range of 7″ to 8″ inches.  The wooden frame covered with the Monitor Lizard skin streatching round the frame.

The skin is pasted with regular carpenter’s glue and kept aside for a day to dry. This frame drum also has one pair brass or copper jingles fitted on one side to get a sharp cutting sound. Earlier, musicians use the old Indian Coins with wholes for the jingles. Normally, without tuning, this instrument sounds very hight pitched sound. The artists has to sprinkle water on the back inside of the instrument to get a good bass sound. The players has to be very careful in putting water on the back side, as over water sprinkle will lead to dead tone.  We have to wait for 5-10mins for the instrument to dry. You can get heavy bass sound by correctly sprinkling the water during the concerts. The instrument will also have effect on outside temperature and moisture conditions. The performers has to carry couple of Kanjira’s for the concerts, so that they can keep atleast one instrument in perfectly tuned condition. If one instrument tone get died, we can use another instrument. So, usually audience questions having multiple kanjiras on the stage.This is the reason.

Now the Cooperman Drum Company (www.cooperman.com)in Vermont, USA, brought out  Ganesh Kumar signature series Kanjira, under the Artists Innovation Series which he designed. This Kanjira is made out of treated maple wood with tuneable, light weight, utilises a cloth mylar head.  Now, it is considered an excellent substitute for the original Kanjira.  Ganesh released this new synthetic version Kanjira at the Percussive Arts Society (PASIC) convention in 2004 at Columbus, Ohio.Kanjira is mostly used for the South Indian Classical concerts ( the carnatic music system in India) as a supporting instrument for the Mridangam ( the double headed barrel shaped drum). Kanjira is a recent innovation (less than 100 years) and added to the classical concerts during 1930’s. Today this small tambourine, with its unique sound and extra-ordinary tonal range, is widely popular and has an established voice of its own in jazz, fusion and world music.