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Kinnari is a stringed instrument made of wood, bamboo, blackwood and gourd. This ancient instrument is found in various parts of South India.

KINNARI in Karnataka

Material: Wood, Bamboo, Blackwood, Gourd

The Kinnari is a rude stringed instrument employed chiefly by the country people in South Kanara and Mysore. It is somewhat singular that a stringed instrument of much the same name- the Kinnor - should have been mentioned in the Bible, and this leads one to conjecture that they may both have been derived from the same Aryan source; for the Kinnari is an instrument of great antiquity, and takes its name from the legend that it was invented by Kinneri, one of the Gandharvas or singers of Brahma-Loka, the heaven of the god Brahma. It is formed out of a piece of bamboo or blackwood, about 2 feet 6 inches in length, upon which are placed frets, sometimes made from the scales of the pangolin or scaly ant-eater(bone or metal however is generally used), and fixed by means of some resinous composition. Beneath this stem are fixed three gourd resonators. The instrument possesses two strings only, made of wire. One of these strings passes over the frets, the other is fixed rather above the frets, and is tuned either a fourth or fifth below the former, according to as the instrument is tuned in Panchama or Madhyama Sruti. The frets are twelve in number and are placed according to the intervals of some particular scale or scales. Hence the compass and capability of the Kinnari are naturally limited. The tone is weak and thin, and the twanging of the strings renders the instrument unpleasant to ears not accustomed to it. Most of the Sanskrit treatises upon musical instruments contain some mention of the Kinnari, or Kinnari-Vina as it is sometimes called. It is worthy of note that the tailpiece of the instrument is still invariably carved to represent the breast of a kite, precisely as directed in all the old treatises; and in many of the old sculptures to be seen on temples and shrines in the Mysore city this instrument is so represented.