Authentic Khartals from the Rajasthani Province of India
East Indian Style Rhythm Bones.
Can't Decide Which Bones to Choose? Check out this handy guide:Bone FAQs
Authentic Rajasthani Khartals
Handcrafted under the guidance of dedicated Khartal musicians from India
What are Khartals?
Khartals are rhythm bones from India. They are long, wide plank-style bones, traditionally made from sheesham wood (aka teak).
Khartals are similar in design to plank-style bones, but the playing technique is unlike the way bones are rattled in the Western World.
The video playlist below demonstrates some of the fascinating sounds and rhythms Khartals can produce. The playlist offers you 24 specially selected videos that showcase this traditional musical instrument from the Rajasthani Province of India. You will also see basic demonstrations that help you learn how to grip and play the instrument yourself.
Khartals (India-style bones): Video sampler for aspiring players View Playlist
The word Khartal literally means "hand rhythm."
Khar = Hand
Taal = Rhythm
Wiki describes the instrument as "a kind of castanet made of teak. Its name is derived from "Khar", meaning hand, and "Taal", meaning rhythm."
Other names for Rajasthani "bones" include:
This is what my supplier in India says about khartals--
"The khartal is mostly used as a backdrop for bhajans (devotional songs) and now-a-days as a solo performance like most of the percussion instruments. In Rajasthan, they are commonly used during the religious ceremonies. It is said to be a 500-years-old traditional percussion instrument from Rajasthan India."
Who Makes Khartals?
I asked my supplier who makes the khartals. He explained that "it is mostly made by the tribe called Langas and Manganiyaars of Rajasthan Province of India." He proudly declared that "Khartals are made by khartal players only." Then added, "and not in any factory, because the most important factor in khartal is its required tone which is much more than just hitting two wooden pieces."
Yes, these are Authentic Khartals from Rajasthan
The quality instruments for sale on this page are handcrafted by expert woodworkers under the guidance of spiritually faithful khartal players from the Langas and Manganiyaars tribes of the Rajasthan Province in India. The dedicated musicians make sure each instrument adheres to exacting standards using only the proper wood, shape and thickness to produce the required khartal tone.
Scrupulously Handcrafted to Proper Specifications
The plank-style khartals you buy here are the real deal.
These khartal instruments come to you directly from a local music shop in Jaipur that works with real khartal players - spiritually motivated musicians who make sure the instruments are crafted to proper specifications. "The best suitable wood for Kartal is 'Sheesham' which produces the ideally required sound," advises my supplier. "The best sheeshams are found in the villages of Rajasthan," he explains, adding, "Sheesham is quite difficult to find in timbre [wood] shops and that's why it is quite expensive."
Which Size is Best for You?
You can choose from small, medium or large. "Every Khartal player has a different size of Khartal set depending on his hand grip," says my supplier. "The standard size is 1.75 inches by 9 inches," he reports. "A little smaller size would be 1.5 inches by 8 inches. And just bigger size to the standard size is 2 inches by 9 inches."
The videos above feature recordings that show kids playing what are relatively large instruments for their hand size. I am certainly no expert on khartals. Personally, I have medium-size hands and seem to favor large khartals. Because the videos show that a small kid can play large khartals too, then I guess we grown-ups should be able to make just about any size work.
Beware of Jingle Khartals
Traditional Rajasthani khartals are hard to find. (It took me over a year to locate a capable supplier.) But if you are lucky enough to find "khartals" at a music shop, what you are likely to end up with is a pair of unusually shaped shaker instruments with metal jingles on them, like those pictured at right. Sorry, those are "Khartal-Manjira." Professional Rajasthani khartals have no jingles. The jingle-style khartals you see all over the Internet are very different from the traditional plank-style Rajasthani instruments you can order here at Bone Dry Music. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with jingle khartals. In fact, they are rather interesting shaker instruments. But they are not Indian-style bones.
Supports Cultural Musical Heritage of India
Because they are closely affiliated with my supplier, I should mention that your purchase helps support the Nad Sadhna Institute for Indian Music and Research Centre. The institute is an organization fully dedicated to Indian Music based in Jaipur, a city described as the cultural capital of India.
Get Live Khartal Lessons
Here's good news. You can learn how to play khartals live online! The Nad Sadhna Institute teaches the ancient art of khartal playing one-to-one via skype. You can get details here for live low-cost khartal lessons. Just let them know you want to learn how to play Rajasthani Khartals. And be sure to tell them bonedrymusic.com sent you.