Kuzhal

Name: Kuzhal.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Shawms.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Kerala, India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The kuzhal [in Malayalam: കുഴൽ Kuzhal] is a double reed aerophone that is used in the south Indian state of Kerala. It is similar in construction to a nagaswaram or a large shehnai and has a very shrill and penetrating tone.

Kuzhal are primarily used as an accompaniment for chenda-led ensembles Panchari Melam and Pandi Melam, where the piper plays the anchor role. However, as prelude to melams, it is also used to present solo concert with a couple instrumentalists in accompaniment, in which case it is called Kuzhal Pattu.

Construction: The instrument has a wooden body with a conical bore, at the end of which is affixed a brass bell. The player, who is almost always male, blows through a double reed and closes small holes with both hands.

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