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Yazh | Product Design

PROJECT BY: Tharun sekar
Firm: Uru
Firm Type : Instrument building company.
CATEGORY: Product Design
PUBLISHED BY: Archipedia

Uru is a musical instrument company that focuses on re-building and re-designing lost folk instruments of India. We strongly believe that the modernization of Indian instruments is important because of the rich sound produced and it’s unique and unheard tonal quality. We also ensure the no traditional skill set will be required to play these instruments, one can easily pick up an instrument and learn to play through available learning platforms. We get started by studying an instrument, understanding the problem for its extinction. Solving the problem by applying modern solutions, and redesigning the instrument for modern playability, modern maintenance without disturbing the tonal quality and the value of the instrument.

We offer a lineup of instruments, including Yazh (an ancient Tamil harp), carved-top electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Santoor, Ukuleles, and Cajons. We use local Indian woods for most of our builds.

Yazh is an ancient Tamil folk instrument, extinct for over 2000 years. We wanted to redesign and tweak its playability to the global standards of the present. We began with the research part, we found information about the instrument from Pathupattu, an anthology of poems from the Sangam Literature and a few pieces in the Egmore Museum(Chennai), helped us figure out its structure. We redesigned the instrument to what is needed, making it minimal. We have made the playability similar to the playability of lyre (a Greek instrument) which is vastly used and played around the world. There were also some design changes in consideration with respect to its maintenance. We used eastern red cedar for the build which is also not the traditional selection for wood but it resonated better than the usual Palamaram.