Prelude to Bansuri

Music can be produced by Voice as well as instruments and both go side by side.To master any instrument we must learn vocals, my guru ji  says: “we should sing the piece that we will play in instrument otherwise music will be mechanical and the core feature i.e  feeling, will be missing.”

What my guru ji said can be understood when you start practicing music, these things can’t be expressed in words they need self realization.

A note on  Bansuri:

It is the most natural instrument in the world. Bansuri is made from a thin variety of bamboo plant with long inter nodes.
img_20161103_161700412Meaning of bansuri is given in the diagram aside,actually they are Sanskrit words.

Thin variety of bamboos with long inter nodes are found in dense forests of  Assam(State in India). Inter nodes in bamboo are formed due to exposure of sunlight,hence denser the forest better the bamboo for bansuri.

img_20161103_161709389The picture of bamboo with inter nodes is shown aside. A bansuri is created without the node of bamboo.The complete inter node portion is utilized for creating bansuri. Presence of inter node affects the resonance  in the air column. Let me summarize the characteristic of bamboo needed for bansuri:

  1. It must be thin walled.
  2. It must be straight with a uniform circular cross section
  3. Must have long inter nodes.

Sound in bansuri is created by resonance in the air column.Frequency (pitch or swars conceptually) of sound differs by variation in length of air column and the length of column changes by opening and closing holes on it.

Types of bansuri:

Bansuri have variation in some categories and i will explain them:

Based on blowing:

  1. Transverse style–>Used in classical music , due to better control on blow.
  2. Fipple style–> Used in non classical music.

Below picture shows the difference:

Based on Size:

  1. Less than 12 inches: Murli ; High pitch
  2. Around 20 inches: Commonly used Bansuri;Bass Variety
  3. Larger ones about 30 to 40 inches: Shankh Bansuri; Super Bass Variety

Based on Classical division:

  1. Venu: Made from bamboo
  • It has seven holes.
  • Used in Carnatic classical music.

     2. Bansuri: Made from bamboo

  •   It has six holes.
  •   Used in Hindustani classical music

           My Tutorials are based on bansuri.

Picture below shows the difference between Venu and Bansuri.


Legendary Bansuri used in Hindustani classical concert is of scale E(Bass varety).It was invented by Pt. Pannalal Ghosh.  


The picture of E Bass concert bansuri. Crafted by my guru ji

History of bansuri:

Bansuri is an ancient musical instrument associated with cowherds and the pastoral tradition.

It is intimately linked to the love story of Krishna and Radha and is also depicted in Buddhist paintings from around 100 CE. The Bansuri is  Lord Krishna’s divine instrument and is often associated with Krishna’s Rasa lilaimg_20161103_203041Mythological accounts tell of the tunes of Krishna’s flute having a spellbinding and enthralling effect not only on the women of the Braj, but even on the animals of the region.Picture aside shows krishna playing bansuri.

Flute or bansuri was neglected in Classical music due to high pitch.

Pt Pannalal Ghosh transformed the bansuri and created bass variety,the legendary E Bass BansuriFurther crafting is done by Pt. Hari Prasad Chourasia. He changed the style of bansuri playing and what we see today has an ocean of contribution by him.

Picture of  Pt. Hari Prasad Chourasia and Pt Pannalal Ghosh.


Please check my youtube channel as well.

2 responses to “Prelude to Bansuri”

  1. Amazing site & content, keep up the good work!


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