Tholkaruvi (Membranophones commonly known as Percussion)

Tholkaruvi is derived from two distinctive Tamil words, “Thol”, meaning skin and “Karuvi” meaning instruments. This category is exclusive to the instruments which produce sound primarily by way of a vibrating stretched membrane (skin or plastic equivalent). Most instruments in this category are drums.

Drums are further divided into three categories:

1)   Struck drums, where the membrane is hit with a stick (such as Thavil), the hand (such as Miruthangam) or something else.

2)   String drums, where a knotted string attached to the membrane is moved, causing it to strike the membrane (such as Damarutham) or the string is pulled, passing its vibrations onto the skin (such as Udukku).

3)   Friction drums, where some type of rubbing motion causes the skin to vibrate (such as Urumi).

Further to the above this category also includes instruments that do not have a membrane but produces rhythm, such as Ghatam and Thaddu Kutchi.