Embouchure, which is the author of tonal quality, is the personal signature of the bansuri, the individuality of the player which can often be recognized by the playing of a single note. It is the part of flute-playing which is, by its nature the most self-taught and developed, and the least susceptible to instruction given by a teacher. The student needs to develop it by his/her own efforts and experimentation. It takes time. Many students, especially these who already play western concert flute, quickly gain control over the mechanics of the bansuri, and play pieces quite comfortably and fluently – but they are disappointed to find that at first, their playing of Indian music doesn’t actually sound like Indian music.
All that can be said here is, that if they know the sound they aspire to (not necessarily of a bansuri, it could be a vocalist) and they strive to reproduce this sound, then eventually through a mysterious and subtle process the embouchure will develop and adapt to produce this sound - but it is a lengthy process and can take years. It is not tho product of mega-practice routines or crash courses.
The main difference between a metal flute and a bansuri, is that the bansuri demands a highly focussed embouchure, to produce the tonal quality, the expression and the intonation particular to indian music. It is a gradual process to develop this sound, and listening to classical music on a regular basis is an essential part of a students practice.
The other reason to develop this kind of blowing is that bamboo by its nature produces a much more breathy sound than metal. Unlike bamboo flutes of some other musical traditions where the sound of breath actually constitutes part of the musical expression, in indian music it is not considered attractive and should be reduced to a minimum. There is a tone-to-noise(breath) ratio which can only be kept to its maximum by powerful blowing, and a concentrated and focused embouchure.This ratio can be controlled or exploited by adjusting the angle of the blowing hole to the mouth. There are basically two kinds of tone available to the player, and the bigger the flute, the more this contrast is evident. They are the open sound and the closed sound. The open sound is produced by turning the blowing hole away from the mouth. The sound produced, is broader, louder and breathier. The closed sound is produced by turning the blowing hole inwards. The sound produced, is softer, sweeter, more focused and much less in volume. Both kinds of sound require very different-and contrasting kinds of embouchure, and both kinds of sound can be employed by the player for expressive purposes. Another reason why the two extremes of embouchure should be part of a players regular practice is that the bansuri, not being a tunable instrument, always needs embouchure adjustments to be made when playing with other musicians, even when the other instruments can be tuned, and even more so when they cannot - as with the harmonium.

Some practice routines for flexibility of embouchure:
1. Practice on different size flutes. The bansuri is not one instrument but many, and by playing daily practice pieces and exercises on different size bansuris will improve both breath control and embouchure flexibility.
2.Play not always in optimum lip position , but sometimes with the instrument tipped away or closer than normal blowing angle. This will make it much more difficult to play effectively, and the students embouchure will need to work hard and make adjustments to produce a good sound.
3. Remember that each hole has an optimum pressure for the best sound. Difficulties often arise during rapid passages from one register to the other when the embouchure is unable to adapt in time. A useful practice to play scales or tanas at speed, going from high notes to low or the other way around . Problems occur when the embouchure is unable to adapt quickly enough , so that when playing a rapid passage from (for instance) Sa to high Ga ,the last note loses quality, or breaks up, or the opposite effect when descending to the lowest note, there is a lack of depth of volume in that note. When practicing these movements the student should play slowly at first paying attention to both breathing and embouchure.
4. The student will find that when playing the half notes, at first there is a considerably less of both volume and tonal quality. There is no specific exercise to correct this; equalization of tone and volume will come of itself in time, with practice. The student will find the particular embouchure needed to produce half notes of quality, and only when this is achieved it will extend to the full range of the instrument. Good tonal quality and volume on the half notes is the key to producing a good overall bansuri sound.

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