The Miraj Builders 2
Today there are 11 main manufacturers of instruments in Miraj plus 5 or 6 small shops which have all come from the same source. I have attempted to show how the family industry has grown and developed into India’s most famous tanpura building industry.
The 11 main manufacturers are:
- Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra
- Indian Musical Shop
- Amir Hamza Abdul Aziz Sitarmaker
- Hind Musical House
- Vilayat Hussain & brothers
- Abdul Karim Ismail & sons
- Suswar Musicals
- Mehboob Abasahib & sons
- Bharat Musical Shop
- Swar Sangam
- A.B.Satarmaker & sons
I made the family tree of the Miraj builders back in 1996, the whole younger generation is missing. If anyone has up to date information, that would be very interesting.
The problems facing the Musical Instrument Industry in India
The British shipped tons of teak out of India to help build British Rail, and till this day the difficulty of acquiring teak (and also red cedar, otherwise known as tun) is extremely evident. Climate change is also making an impact on the natural resources for the musical instrument industry. Due to a drought in 2016, gourd crops have not grown enough to reach the required size of a male tanpura. These kinds of problems and the time consuming processes involved with building a music instrument in India, makes the profits for these small but highly skilled craftsmen nominal. In turn it is causing enormous problems within the families as the next generation is hardly motivated to continue the tradition and is turning towards more lucrative professions. This is an extremely worrying situation in which moves have to be taken to help sustain and better the presently bad situation of the industry.
To help production methods, there have been some attempts to standardize some aspects of the instruments, but as yet this has not happened, at least not on a larger scale. Its strange that standardization is not fully accepted, coming from the land that helps produce violin pegs.