Aesthetics of heritage should never be compromised!
This is a percussion instrument named ‘jori’ meaning couple. The concept was taken from the Ancient Indian barrrel shaped drum called the Pakhawaj the barrel was made into two peices with skins and a bottom base so it can be played up right.
The 5th Guru in the Sikh tradition Guru Arjun Dev Ji blessed Sikhs with this drum and carried out the actions of the above mentioned. The tonal qualities are of the same kind against Pakhawaj.
The smaller drum ‘pura’ has a diameter of anything between 6” - 71/2” and the larger anything from 8” - 10”. The ‘pura’ has a real low pitched treble resonance. Larger drum ‘Dhama’ gets its bass form the use of chapati dough mix which is applied in a circular shape. Too much dough will block the sound, too less will make it sound trebly, and just the right amount will give you near enough perfect bass!
Today, we have almost lost the “jori” in defeat to the well known tabla. A blessing from the 5th Guru almost lost as well as the melodies and beats played on Jori especially with the sung prayer of Sri Asa Ki Vaar.
In Sri Asa Ki Vaar there are certain speeches of Jori which come in to intuition and presence whilst the Vaar is sung. These syllables of speech produced from the Jori create a sensation in the atmosphere in the air and uplift the inner connection of the spectator, taking us back in time where we may experience a grain of what life was in that setting where this first started.
It is only in the last 60 years or so that we have begun to stray away from the tradition of singing styles in the Sikh tradition along with the style of accompaniment on Jori.
Here are some recordings with Jori being played in them.
The first is of Ustad Nihal SIngh Ji playing a Jori solo and towards the end a clip Jori accompaniment in Sri Asa Ki Vaar.-
The next is of Maharaaj Bir Singh ji Namdhari, respected son of the Namdhari Guru, Baba Partap Singh Ji and brother of the next Guru, Baba Jagjit Singh Ji. Baba Partap Singh Ji was very well known to take care of the Ragis (ones who sing Raag) and Rababis (ones who play Rabab, Muslim devotional singers who played Rabab as Bhai Mardana Ji did) of Sri Harmandir Sahib at a time where the Ragis and Rababis were not appreciated by many. Baba Partap Singh Ji got these skilled practitioners of devotional Dhrupad singing to teach at the Namdhari base of Sri Bhaini Sahib, there for acquiring very vast knowledge and holding the baton for this ancient style. Ustad Nihal Singh Ji was one of those who was bout to Sri Bhaini Sahib. Here, they are singing a Gurbani composition in Dhrupad form, an ancient form of singing which was once sung daily in Sri Harmandir Sahib, Ustad Nihal Singh Ji can be seen on the left hand side towards the end of the clip. -
The last is of Bhai Baldeep Singh a man of many skills and talents. One of his main aims I feel is to preserve the Sikh heritage, as a 13th generation descendant of an unbroken lineage to hymn singers dating back to the time of the third Guru he has bought instruments such as the Taus, Rabab, saranda and Jori back into the eye of the Sikh community by learning the art of luthiery for these instruments. Here is a clip of him playing a Jori solo.-
Photo taken in film.