The Nepalese madal : a description and comparison with selected drums of India
Mullane, Brent A.
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This is a study describing and comparing the Nepalese drum called the madal with similar drums from India. As a folk instrument, the madal and its traditions are threatened by the continuing homogenization of traditional music due to foreign influences. To document the instrument, a detailed physical and functional description is given of the madal including information gathered by the author while living in Nepal from 1991-93 and the three madals in the author's collection as well as a partial translation of Subi Saha's Madala text. A similar description, based on gathered sources, is given of the ancient and contemporary drums of India: karata, ghadasa, bheri, mardala, pataha, dhol, dholak, khol, mrdangam, pakhawaj, madar, madal (Indian), maddala and madala. Comparisons are made of physical characteristics, playing techniques, function and name. Three appendices include: tables of instruments, detailed photographs of the madal and its parts, assembled and disassembled, and two madal accompaniment patterns. The author concludes the Nepalese madal is related to ancient drum mardala, medieval drum desi pataha and contemporary drums mrdangam and pakhawaj.