Indian mridangams are used in the Carnatic music of Southern India. The music of India is one of the oldest systems of music in the world. It has two branches. There is the Hindustani sangeet (music) of the North and the Carnatic sangeet (music) in the south. Collectively these two limbs form the body of a musical tradition that is said to extend back several thousand years.
Traditionally, mridangams are a single piece of wood that is hollowed out and has playing heads on both sides. They have a heavy annular membrane around the right side, and a number of pieces of straw which are placed radially between the annular membrane and the main membrane. The right side has a permanent application, known as soru or karanai. The left side uses a mixture of flour and water to provide a proper tone. The lacing and heads are placed upon a barrel shaped wooden shell, usually of jackwood.
Mridangams are a south Indian representative of a class of instrument known as Mridang. This class includes drums like maddal, shuddha maddalam, Khol, and pakhawaj. Mridangam forms the basis for carnatic classical percussion in India. Mridangams are known as one of the most ancient among Indian drums. For decades, the mridangam, solo or in accompaniment, has provided complex and delightful rhythms for the enjoyment of audiences in India and abroad. Mridangams are also associated with the dance styles of Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi and Mohini Attam.Rohan Krishnamurthy plays his MRDRHS.