Definition of tanpura in English:



  • A large four-stringed lute used in Indian music as a drone accompaniment.

    • ‘Whether singing an Indian inspired song with a tanpura, rocking out at the piano, calling out over electronic samples or screaming over an electric guitar, she likes to make her performances a unique experience each time.’
    • ‘In this trio setting, Singh's amplified tablas are the main focus, punching out loudly over a thin-sounding sarangi and a tanpura drone.’
    • ‘Particular emphasis is placed on the advent of electronic instrumentation, such as digital tablas and tanpuras and experimentations in fusion music.’
    • ‘He told me that once he sits down for practice with the tanpura, he does not get up for four to five hours!’
    • ‘The only other essential instrument is the tanpura, whose open strings are plucked continuously all evening, providing an organ-like background.’
    • ‘In fact, she played tanpura for several Indian musicians in New York concerts between the years 1958 and 1967.’
    • ‘The new recorded sruti device, while cutting out the laborious transportation of the tanpura with its resonator and providing a drone like effect, can never match the sound of the original filling the auditorium with its resonance.’
    • ‘From the tanpura to the violin all those who chance to visit Dakshinachitra then, can touch, feel and try playing some of them.’
    • ‘She signalled to her maid to fetch the tanpura from the corner.’
    • ‘The ubiquitous drone is there, of course, now provided by the tanpura (a four to six stringed fretless instrument made of wood and usually combined with gourd).’
    • ‘There are four main families of musical instruments in Pakistan and more than six hundred Pakistani musical instruments; the most well known are the sitar, veena, rabab, sur mandal and tanpura.’
    • ‘He has talked of trying to de-stress himself while writing with tanpura strumming and raag alap.’
    • ‘Instead of the old traditional musical instruments like the tanpura and the tabla, the instruments used in a remix are digital drums and synthesisers, and even the voice of the singer can be and is electronically manipulated.’
    • ‘She studied the vina and the tanpura.’
    • ‘The dhindis, typically, comprise a kirthankar (a lead singer and group leader), who could be of either gender, carrying a tanpura (stringed instrument).’
    • ‘She also studied Sanskrit and learned to play the musical instruments the vina and tanpura.’
    • ‘Tanpuras come in different sizes and pitches: bigger ‘males’ and smaller ‘females’ for vocalists and yet a smaller version that is used for accompanying sitar or sarod, called tamburi or tanpuri.’
    • ‘Youngsters are learning the Tabla and Tanpura.’
    • ‘The head said the school worked hard to give the youngsters the chance to try out a range of instruments from different cultures, including African drums and Asian sitars and tanpuras.’
    • ‘The shruti from two tanpuras set the stage for an hour-long performance.’


Mid 19th century: variant of tamboura.