Tuning of Idanthalai

 

The Idanthalai must be tuned to the corresponding pitch of the Soru as mentioned above. Set the Sruthi box or Tuner to the desired pitch ensuring that it is loud enough to be heard while playing the Miruthangam or if using the tuner that it is near the Idanthalai and the environment is away from any other sound interferences.

Strike the Thom and listen to see if it matches the desired pitch of the Sruthi Box. If the Idanthalai does not match the desired pitch then it is in need of tuning.

A) Increasing the Pitch

If the pitch of the Idanthalai is lower than the desired pitch then it needs to be increased, which is achieved by striking the Idanthalai Mootu from the top (this causes the skin to be tightened).

To do this beat that particular point on the Idanthalai Mootu (ideally between the leather straps) from the top with the Kallu. If the variation is deemed large then the Kallu can be used in conjunction with the Pollu where the Pollu is placed on the point that requires an increase and is intern beaten with the Kallu in a downward motion.

Repeat the process on all the required sides of the Idanthalai until the pitch matches with the pitch produced by the Sruthi Box or when the tuner shows (usually indicated by a green light) the required pitch.

B) Decreasing the Pitch

If the pitch of the Valanthalai is higher than the desired pitch then it needs to be decreased, which is achieved by striking the Idanthalai Mootu from the bottom (this causes the skin to be loosened).

To do this beat that particular point on the Idanthalai Mootu (between the leather straps) from the bottom with the Kallu in conjunction with the Pollu. The Pollu is placed under the point that requires a decrease and is beaten with the Kallu in an upward motion.

 
 

If the pitch of the Idanthalai Mootu needs to be decreased substantially then the Aapu, a tapered wooden stick measuring around 20 cm in length with a thickness of around 2.5-4 cm, should be used. The Aapu is placed between the Koddu (i.e. the wooden body) and the side layer of the Idanthalai Mootu, it is then beaten with the Kallu in an upward motion. This moves the Idanthalai Mootu slightly away from the Koddu causing a decrease in pitch.

 
 

Fine adjustments of the pitch can be made with the Kallu on its own. Strike the Idanthalai Mootu as required faintly with the Kallu to make minor variations in the pitch so as to make the pitch of the Miruthangam perfectly align to the desired pitch.