Indian Percussion instrument Ghungroo

Indian Percussion instrument Ghungroo

Indian Percussion instrument Ghungroo

Indian Percussion instrument Ghungroo

Indian Percussion Instrument Ghungroo


A ghungroo is one of many small metallic bells strung together to form ghungroos - the Indian percussion Instrument. It is a musical accessory tied to the feet of classical Indian dancers. The sounds created by the ghungroos vary greatly in pitch depending on their metallic composition and size of the foot jewelry. Ghungroos serve to accentuate the rhythmic aspects of the dance and is a way to ensure that the complex footwork can be heard by the audience when the dancer has her/his ghungroos tied to the feet. Ghungroos are worn right above the ankle. They rest on the lateral malleolus and medial malleolus. Again like stated earlier the number of ghungroos in the string can range anywhere from 50 to more than 200 bells woven and knotted together. A beginner or a child dancer can start with 50 of them and slowly add more as they advances in his or her technical ability. Ghungroos are worn in traditional performances of the classical Indian dance forms like the bharatnatyam, kuchipudi, kathak and oddissi.

According to the Natya Sastra: “The Indian percussion instrument Ghungroo should ideally be made of bronze or copper or silver, use of these metals makes them sweet-toned, well-shaped, and dainty, with asterisks for their presiding deities. Ghungroos are tied with and indigo string - with a knot tied between each pair of bells. At the time of dancing the dancers are supposed to wear ghungroos a hundred bells or two hundred for each foot, or a hundred for the right foot and two hundred for the left…” the latter option is a more practical outcome and solution to the fact that most performers or Indian Classical dances will stamp harder with their right foot than with the left foot. And in the modern practice, the dancers do not necessarily tie their bells. These days for the convenience and comfort of the dancers they are available in the market where they are mounted on a leather strap, or sewn to velvet-lined silk. this has become very common and is also very popular. There are two common forms of the ghungroo. The traditional form is merely a number of bells woven together on a string. However like mentioned in the above paragraph, today it is common to find them stitched to a rectangular narrow cushion. This is then strapped to the feet of a dancer. Making of Ghungroos: Ghungharus are globular bells each about 2 cm in diameter. performers of Indian classical dances string them on ropes or sew them onto cloth or leather strips or padded cushions and wear them around ankles. Larger ghungroos may be strung on a circle of wire and shaken as accompaniment to a song. Ghungroos are also often fixed to other instruments to add to the sound. The bells are decorative items in themselves and the cords strung are often bright and finished with tassels.

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