Introduction And Construction Of Timila Musical Instrument In English

Timila Musical Instrument
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Introduction And Construction Of Timila Musical Instrument


  • Timila, Thimila or Pani, is an hour-glass shaped percussion instrument used in Kerala, South India. It is made of polished jackwood, and drumheads made of calfskin are held together by leather braces that are twisted around the waist of the drum.
  • This mechanism helps to adjust the stress and control the sounds, mainly two: ‘tha’ and ‘thom’.
  • It is one of the instruments constituted in Panchavadyam. It is also a major tabla instrument used in Sri-Bali, Sri-Bhoot-Bali and related temple rites.
  • A Panchavadyam performance begins with Timila Pattu and ends with Timila Idachal, thus making Timila a very important component of the traditional Kerala tabla ensemble.

Construction And Mechanics

  • It is shaped like two cones placed in opposite directions i.e. shaped like an hourglass. The traditional size of thimila made of heartwood or fully grown jackwood has a length of 24.k virals (one viral = 1.77 inches), 6 virals at the ends and 2.5 virals in the centre, apart from the thickness. 3⁄4 viral (finger) key.
  • The trunk is hollow. Of late, possibly to reduce weight, the measurements are changed without loss to the symphony.
  • According to the manufacturing process, the tun of Thimila is made of jackfruit wood in the shape described above.
  • The circumference of the rings is slightly greater than that of the ends of the tune. The tanned leather taken from a calf (between the age of 1 to 2 years) is properly cut and applied to these rings with the help of gum (made from raw rice).
  • The leather has to be fitted tightly as it determines the symphony of Themila. Six holes of 3⁄8 virial size are made on either side and they are attached to the tune with the help of twine leather threads.
  • The tension of the strings is very important as it is closely related to the symphony. A long cloth about 9 feet long and at least 6 inches wide is used to hang the thimila over the shoulders of the drummer. By all means it is a masterpiece of art as it produces mesmerizing sound.

Masters Of Timila

  • Today’s masters of Timila include Kuzur Narayan Marar, Annamanada Parameshwara Marar, Chandran Marar, Thrikkambaram Krishnankutty Marar, Karavattadath Narayan Marar, Koroth Ramakrishna Marar, Chhotanikkara Vijayan, Parakkattu Thankappan, Nandappan, Ormana Venu, Ormana Rajan.
  • Famous Timila exponents of the 20th century include Annamanada Achyuta Marar, Parameswara Marar, Pitambara Marar, Chengmad Shekhara Kurup, Porathuveettil Nanu
  • Marar, Pallavur Maniyan Marar, Perumbili Narayan Marar, Keshav Marar, Pallipat Narayan Marar, Chhotanikkara Narayan Marar, Bahuleyan, Pazhur Damodar Marar.

Answer Timila’s Question

Timila is played in which state?

Timila is played in the state of Kerala, South India.

Timila is made of which metal?

Timila is a tabla instrument made of wood, parchment.

By what other names is Timila known?

Timila is also known as Thimila or water.

What is the shape of Timila?

Timila is shaped like two cones placed in opposite directions.

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