Maddale

Name: Maddale.
Type: Barrel Drum > Membranophone.
Family:
Hornbostel-Sachs No#:
Country: Karnataka, India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The Maddale (Kannada: ಮದ್ದಲೆ) is a percussion instrument from Karnataka, India. It is the primary rhythmic accompaniment in a Yakshagana ensemble along with Chande. The traditional variety of Maddale was 30 cm long, which had 8 inch drum head for right hand and produced a louder sound.

Currently drum heads for the Maddale 6 – 6.5 inches wide right side maddale is used with only a few using 7 inch wide. Left bass side is about an inch. Maddale is available in more than three different variations. Maddale used in Yakshagana looks similar to mridangam but is markedly different in structure, acoustics, playing techniques and the rhythm system [Yakshagana Tala].

Construction: The maddale is a double-sided drum whose body is usually made using a hollowed piece of jackfruit wood about half a cm thick [this is very thin compared to Mrdingam]. This body is called Goodu or housing. The two open ends of the drum are covered with a goat skin leather and laced to each other with leather straps around the circumference of the drum. These straps are stretched to tightly hold the drum heads on either side of the drum body, allowing them to resonate when struck. The drum head on the left is slightly larger (bass side) (about say 90% of an inch). One side produces bass another treble. The drum head is known as muchchige.

The bass drum head is known as the eda muchchige and the drum head is known as the bala muchchige. The right drum head is similar to tabla drum head but differs slightly creating a major tonal difference. The maddale unlike Mrdingam, Parkwaj or Tabla produces tonic when playing on the rim and on ink. The left drum head produces lower pitched bass sounds. The right drum head has a circular disk in the centre called karne or the ink causing the drum to produce harmonic tones. The left drum is smeared with a tuning paste made from ash and rice called bona, before the performance to dampen the tone and to produce bass sound.

Citations: Dr. Shivarama Karantha, Yakshagana Bayalaata, Harsha Publications, 1963, Puttur, South Canara. Prof. Sridhara Uppura, Yakshagana and Nataka, Diganta Sahitya Publications, 1998, Mangalore.