Background Info

The shrutibox has been developed from the European harmonium, which had been brought to India in the 19th century. It is also called surpeti and is traditionally used mainly for vocal accompaniment of folk or religious music. Its lack of a keyboard makes it a pure drone instrument. Drones are continuously sounding single or multiple notes, whose uninterrupted presence creates an open space of sound. This space can be filled by melodies or other musical structures. The idea of drone is an essential part of Indian music. However drones are known in Western music, too, especially in its more ancient forms. Some Western instruments like the bagpipe or the hurdy-gurdy even have drones built in.