Idanthalai Syllables

 
Idanthalai syllables (Sotkal), are those that are played on the left head of the Miruthangam. The left head is the generic name given to the side that does not contain a black circular area (Soru) and is not dependent on the handedness of the player i.e. it is called the Idanthalai (Left head) even if the player plays this part with the right hand.
 

 

1) Tha

 

   

The "Tha" note (Sollu) is played by striking the centre circular area of the Miruthangam's left head (Thopi), for a right handed player, with all four fingers and upper part of the palm. This note is flat.
In the standard "Sollkattu" the "Tha" doesn't posses any other notation names.

 

2) Thom

 
 
 
 
The "Thom" note is played by striking the edge of the centre circular area of the Miruthangam's  left head (Thopi) with all four fingers of the palm. The fingers must immediately be lifted out to allow for the resonance.

The "Thom" has many variations in the name when it forms a group of Sollkattu for example:

1) Thalangku : Where the Thom is recited as Ku.

Say -  Tha  Lang,    Ku
Play - Tha   Chaapu Thom                                 

2) Thakkum : Where the Thom is recited as Kum.

Say - Tha, Kum,
Play - Da, Thom,

3) Tharikida : Where the Thom is recited as Ki.

Say - Tha  Ri   Ki     Da
Play - Thi  Da Thom Thi


Valanthalai Syllables

 
Valanthalai syllables, are those that are played on the right head of the Miruthangam. The right head is the generic name given to the side that contains a black circular area (Soru/Saatham) and is not dependent on the handedness of the player i.e. it is called the Valanthalai (Right head) even if the player plays this part with the left hand.
 

1) Thi

 
 
 

 

The "Thi" note is played by striking the centre black ring (Saatham) of the Miruthangam's right head, for a right handed player, with the first three fingers. This note is flat.
 
The "Thi" has many variations in the name when it forms a group of Sollkattu for example:

1) Kida (Type 1) : Where the Thi is recited as Da.

Say - Ki          Da
Play - Thom    Thi

2) Kida (Type 2) : Where the Thi is recited as Ki.

Say -  Ki     Da
Play - Thi    Da

3) Tharikida : Where the Thi is recited as both Tha and Da.

Say - Tha  Ri   Ki       Da
Play - Thi  Da  Thom   Thi 

4) Thakajenu : Where the Thi is recited as Nu.

Say -  Tha   Ka     Je        Nu
Play - Num  Thom  Thom  Thi

5) Thathinmithin : Where the Thi is recited as Mi.

Say -  Tha   Thin    Mi    Thin 
Play - Num   Thin   Thi    Thin 

 

2) Num

 
 
 
 
 
The "Num" note is played by first resting, like a pivot, the second finger on the left edge (9 o clock position) of the centre black ring (Saatham) of the Miruthangam's right head then striking the top part of the outer ring (Vettu Thattu) with the index (fourth) finger.

The "Num" has many variations in the name when it forms a group of Sollkattu for example:

1) Naka : Here the Num is recited as Na.                                            
 
Say -  Na     Ka
Play - Num  Thom

2) Thathinmithin : Where the Num is recited as Tha.

Say -  Tha   Thin    Mi    Thin 
Play - Num   Thin   Thi    Thin 

 

3) Da

 
 
 
 
The "Da" note is played by striking the middle of the centre black ring (Saatham) of the Miruthangam's right head with the top portion (first section) of the index finger. This note is flat.

The "Da" has many variations in the name when it forms a group of Sollkattu for example:

1) Thakathiku : Where the Da is recited as Tha.                              

Say -  Tha   Ka    Thi   Ku
Play -  Da    Thom Thi  Thom           

2) Tharikida : Where the Da is recited as Ri.

Say - Tha    Ri    Ki       Da
Play - Thi     Da  Thom   Thi


4) Thin

 
 
 

The "Thin" note is played by first resting, like a pivot, the second finger on the left edge (9 o clock position) of the centre black ring (Saatham) of the Miruthangam's right head then striking the top outer edge (12 o clock position) of the Saatham with the index (fourth) finger. The finger must immediately be lifted out to allow for the vibrational tone.

In the standard "Sollkattu" the "Thin" doesn't posses any other notation names.
 

 

5) Theeng

 
 
 
The "Theeng" note is played by striking the bottom edge of the (6 o clock position) of the centre black ring (Saatham) of the Miruthangam's right head wit
h the index (fourth) finger in a semi circular movement. The finger must immediately be lifted out to allow for the vibrational tone.

The "Theeng" has vey only a few variations in the name when it forms a group of Sollkattu for example:

1) Thathikidathom: Where the Theeng is recited as Thi.
 
Say -  Tha    Thi        Ki     Da   Thom
Play -  Thi    Theeng   Thi    Da   Thom 

 

6) Thaang

 

The "Thaang" note is played by striking the middle of the centre black ring (Saatham) of the Miruthangam's right head with top portions (first section) of either the three middle fingers or the index finger. The finger(s) must immediately be lifted out to allow for the vibrational tone.

In the standard "Sollkattu" the "Thaang" doesn't posses any other notation names.

 

7) Chaapu 


 
 
   

The "Chaapu" note is played by striking the left outer most edge (9 o clock position) of the centre black ring (Saatham) of the Miruthangam's right head with top portion (first section) of the little finger. The finger must immediately be lifted out to allow for the vibrational tone.

The other fingers are either held stiff in parallel to the little finger (as shown in the diagram on the left) to produce an open semi ring sound or the fingers are held loose to (as shown in the diagram on the right) produce a multi-tonal open semi ring sound. The ring sound is similar to that of a string when plucked.

1) Thakathiku (Variation) : Where the Chaapu is recited as Thi.
 
Say -  Tha    Ka      Thi        Ku
Play -  Da    Thom   Chaapu  Thom

2) Thalang,ku : Where the Chaapu is recited as Lang.
 
Say -  Tha    Lang       ,     Ku
Say -  Tha    Chaapu    ,    Thom
 

8) Mulluchaapu (Full Chaapu)

 
 
 

The "Mulluchaapu", the most common Chaapu, only differs from the Chaapu in the position of the little finger on the Miruthangam's right head i.e. top outer most edge (12 o clock position) of the Saatham.

It is played by striking the top outer most edge (12 o clock position) of the centre black ring (Saatham) of the Miruthangam's right head with top portion (first section) of the little finger. The finger must immediately be lifted out to allow for the vibrational tone.

The other fingers are either held stiff in parallel to the little finger (as shown in the diagram on the left) to produce an open ring sound or the fingers are held loose to (as shown in the diagram on the right) produce a multi-tonal open ring sound.
 

 

9) Sampurana Chaapu (Complete Chaapu)

 
 

The "Sampurana Chaapu", only differs from the Chaapu in the position of the little finger on the Miruthangam's right head i.e. right outer most edge (3 o clock position) of the Saatham.

It is played by striking the right outer most edge (3 o clock position) of the centre black ring (Saatham) of the Miruthangam's right head with top portion (first section) of the little finger. The finger must immediately be lifted out to allow for the vibrational tone.

The other fingers are either held stiff in parallel to the little finger (as shown in the diagram on the left) to produce an ring sound or the fingers are held loose to (as shown in the diagram on the right) produce a multi-tonal ring sound. The vibration of the ring sound here is reduced since more of the little finger is in contact with the Saatham.
 

 

10) Araichaapu (Half Chaapu)

 
 
 

The "Araichaapu", only differs from the Mulluchaapu in that the position of the little finger on the Miruthangam's right head is positioned half way from the top outer most edge (12 o clock position) of the Saatham.

It is played by striking almost at the centre of the centre black ring (Saatham) of the Miruthangam's right head with top portion (first section) of the little finger. The finger is immediately lifted out to allow for the vibrational tone.

The other fingers are held stiff in parallel to the little finger (as shown in the diagram) to produce a somewhat half closed ring sound. Similar to the Araichaapu, the vibration of the ring sound here is also reduced due to more of the little finger making contact with the Saatham.

Unlike the other listed Chaapus, the finger is not held loosely here as that sound would be similar to the "Thaang" sound played with the index finger.


Conjunct Syllables

 
Conjunct syllables, are those that are played with both hands simultaneously. These resemble that of a single sounded note and care should be taken to ensure both the left and right heads of the Miruthangam are played in the same instance without any delay in time.  


1) Thaam

  

 
The "Thaam" note is played by striking Thom on the left head and Num on the right head. The left hand must immediately be lifted out to allow for the vibrational tone of Thom.

Sometimes, unconventionally, the Num is played while holding the Saatham firmly, as that of Thi, to eliminate any vibrations. This produces a very hard Thaam that resembles an almost wooden knocking sound.

In the standard "Sollkattu" the "Thaam" doesn't posses any other notation names.

 

2) Theem

 
    
 

The "Theem" note is played by striking Thom on the left head and Thin on the right head. The left hand and the right index finger must immediately be lifted out to allow for the vibrational tone of Thom and Thin.

In the standard "Sollkattu" the "Theem" doesn't posses any other notation names.


3) Thith

 
     
 
 
The "Thith" note is played by striking Thom on the left head and Thi on the right head. The Thi is played harder here than usual. The left hand is not lifted immediately but is kept on the skin to stop the vibrational tone of Thom.

When a left head note such as Tha comes before the Thith it is played by striking the Thi only. Here the Thi is played harder than usual.

In the standard "Sollkattu" the "Thith" doesn't posses any other notation names.