Mridagams can be classified into two types. One is “Thagu Shruthi” and the other is “Sthaayi Shruthi”.Thagu Shruthi is for male singers having a pitch range between B to C#. Sthaayi Shruthi on the other hand is used for female singers whose pitch ranges from F to A#.
The length of “Thagu Shruthi mridangam” between the Karanai and thopi can go up to 24 inches till 26 inches. 24 inches is considered standard. Diameter of the Karanai can be 6 ½ to 7 inches and proportionately thopi can be 7 to 7 ½ inches. The circumference of the center portion of the wood “Arada” can be 36 to 37 inches and its diameter measures around 12 to 12.5 inches.
Likewise the length of “Sthaayi Shruthi mridangam” can be up to 22 inches. The circumference of the center portion of the wood “Arada” should be at least 33 inches and its diameter is 11 inches. Some prefer 36 inches and its diameter is 12 inches. The diameter of Karanai is 6 inches to 6 ½ and proportionately thopi can be 6 ½ to 7.
Buyers should keep in mind that when the diameter of the wooden mouth is high, the pitch is low and vice versa.
Mridanga’s broad head side is normally placed at 1 ½ inches to the left side from the center. The thickness of the wood used should be 1 inch at the mouth of both sides. Some prefer 3/4 to 3/8 of an inch.
Proper sound and good length of vibration and Octave depend on the thickness of the wood at both sides. If the thickness level is optimum, the quality of sound will be optimum. SO make sure you examine your Mridanga thoroughly or if you are planning to order it online, please get this fact clear. tabla musical instruments and sheet music sitar