422.112 (Single) reedpipes with double (or quadruple) reeds with conical bore

Instrument names: kuzhal, kurum kuzhal, kural, or kulal
Conical bore oboe (kuzhal) with wooden stick with seven holes along its length and a banded finial at the top. An attachment of brightly coloured wool is securely bound to the top of the oboe, consisting of four reed mouthpieces tied at the top with thin textile string (cotton?) and a small wooden stick linked together with bright pink, green, yellow and red wool. A metal bell cast in brass with raised bands forms the end portion of the oboe.

The kulal oboe features in instrumental ensembles that play for Hindu festivals and rituals in Kerala. In the cenda melam, an ensemble led by cenda drums, the function of the kulal section is to embellish and to prolong the beat of the drums. The aim is not to play exactly in the same pitch, but to use fixed tones of a given raga (musical scale) in a measured way to support the rhythm instruments.

Collection Information

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