Anubodh Baansuri: Indian Classical Concert Bansuri Bamboo Flutes
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Bansuri Care

colorful bansuri As evident from its name Bansuri, Baans + Sur (Bamboo + Musical Note), is exclusively made out of bamboo. Bamboo used in making Bansuri flutes is of a very special variety found mostly in the north eastern and southern regions of India. This bamboo is special in the sense that it fulfills the requirement by having sufficiently long sections between the nodes. Also the wall thickness of this variety is quite low as compared to the bamboos used in making flutes in other cultures e.g. Shakuhachi of Japan or Ney flute of the Middle East.

Though bamboo is a very resilient and strong material, it is fragile as well. A little hard knock, a little rough treatment and there is a danger of your Bansuri developing a crack. There a couple of maintenance tips you can follow to ensure a long and mellifluous life of your Bansuri.

Oil Your Bansuri

In the long run, oiling helps to protect the bansuri against the effects of repeated moisture and humidity fluctuation. Oil, preferably Mustard oil, should be applied inside the flute and to the point just below the blow-hole. To apply oil to the interior, some sort of home-made swabbing device may be employed to reach up into the bore (e.g. A swab of oil-saturated (but not dripping) cloth is tied/fastened to an ordinary wooden dowel).

        Points to remember when oiling your Bansuri

  • Oil your new bansuri first time after about first 15 days of playing.
  • Preferably use Mustard or Walnut oil. Never mineral oil.
  • Oiling swab should be loose fitting and should not have to be forced in the bore of the flute.
  • Apply oil only till before the blow-hole.
  • Do not oil a 'wet' (freshly played) bansuri. Allow the bore surface to be dry.
  • Oiling 4-6 time a year is generally quite adequate.

Protect your Bansuri from Shocks: Thermal and Physical

The main mode of bamboo flutes failure is through cracking. Bamboo body is composed of thousands of longitudinal fibers running across the length of the bamboo. A little crack at one point may not take much to propagate along the whole length. Cracks are caused more often than not by exposure to extreme temperatures & hard knocks.

Important Bansuri Care Tips

  • Avoid playing in cold ambient conditions. Warm breath going in the bore will rapidly  expand the insides with the outer surface remaining cold and unexpanded, leading to development of a crack.
  • Avoid exposing to extremes of temperatures.
  • Take care not to knock or drop your Bansuri against any hard surface as bamboo though being a very resilient and strong material is susceptible to developing cracks due to its unidirectional fiber orientation.
  • Ensure that your Bansuri is protected by stringings/ bindings at both the ends. Threading is vital for a long and healthy life of your bamboo flute.
  • If you ever notice threading/binding coming of off your bansuri, fix it right then. Thread it again or if you can't, apply 4-5 rounds of tape around in place of the lost threading till the time you have thread binding done.
  • Of course, never leave your Bansuri laying around on the floor. The foot that tramples on it may be your own!

 

Still if you manage to mess things up |:-{] there's generally a way to get around the problem |:-}]. Look at the sidebar or go to bansuri repair you might find the solution there to put your bansuri back on musical road.

Page last updated on August 8, 2010

 

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