The manjïrà (manjeera) is a traditional percussion instrument of Bhàrata India. In its simplest form, it is a pair of small hand cymbals. It is also known as manjeera, taal, jalra, khartàl or kartàl, Gini (ଗିନି).
They often accompany folk or devotional music. It is used in various religious ceremonies of India, especially bhajans. The manjira is an ancient instrument. Pictures of it have been found in temples dating back to the earliest times.
Manjira are usually made of bronze, brass, copper zinc or Bell metal and connected with a copper cord which passes through holes in their center. They produce a rhythmic tinkling sound when struck together. The sound’s pitch varies according to their size, weight and the material of their construction. A player can also adjust the timbre by varying the point of contact while playing.
Larger version of majira, Taal.
The manjira can also consist of a wooden frame with two long, straight handles that connect to each other with two short wooden handles; the open space between the long handles has a wooden separator that separates two rows of three brass cymbal. There are also small cymbals fixed into wood blocks forming another type of instrument also known as khartal.
Gujarati folk music
Manjira has a significant importance in Gujarati and Marathi folk music, in Maharashtra it is known as Taal (टाळ). Initially Manjira were played in Aarti of God and Goddess. In Gujarat and Maharashtra, Manjeera has a significant importance and played in Bhajan, Santvani and Dayro.
Though Manjeera is a small metal Instrument, but it produces a sweet tinkling sound when struck together while doing Jugalbandhi with other Instruments. However, Manjeera playing is not an easy task, it requires a lot of Abhyasa (practice) and deep knowledge of Sur and Taal. Unlike other musical instruments such as Tabla, Mrudang, Shehnai this instrument did not get much recognition and appraisal from listeners. There are very few Manjira players in Gujarat, who perform and have expertise in it.