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date: 18 November 2019


  • Alastair Dick


Common north Indian term for a circular percussion plaque made of bell metal. The Sanskrit term is ghaṇṭā or ghaṭī. The ghaṙī of northern areas of the subcontinent is about 20 cm in diameter and 5 mm thick. It is suspended from the left hand by a cord passing through holes near the edge of the plaque and beaten with a wooden stick held in the right hand. The ghaṙī can occur in temple music and in drum ensembles for dancing and so on; it is also widespread as the traditional Indian clock, on which the hours are beaten, and the term can mean ‘watch’ or ‘clock’ in the New Indo-Aryan languages. Local names are also found, such as ghaṇṭ (Orissa) and jhalar (Rajasthan), and ghaṙiyāl (northern areas) often denotes a larger variety (in Bengal it denotes the hereditary player of the ghaṙī). (The ghaṙī should be distinguished from the struck metallophone with raised edge; ...

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