The sarangi belongs to the Gandharva caste and was traditionally used as a storytelling instrument. It is a four-string instrument that usually produces C, C and G, G notes and is played with a bow. The structure of a Sarangi is very interesting; it has got no fret boards or fingering frets- notes are changed by putting fingers in-between the strings and shortening the length of vibrations. It has no joints and traditionally the body is carved out of a single block of Khhira wood, but is often replaced these days by Saaj wood. A wooden key is used to tune the strings and a small piece of wooden block is used as a bridge on top of the skin piece. The traditional horsetail bow is often replaced by a nylon bow now.
It is believed that the instrument Arbajo was handed down by Saint Bhrama Bharat to human beings in the Satya Yug. Back then the instrument was used to deliver messages from one place to another. The Arbajo is similar to a Guitar but slightly smaller in size. It is regarded as the male partner of the Sarangi and is played in consortium to produce balanced harmony. It consists of four strings that are used to produce rhythmic sounds.
The Dhimay, known for producing multiple reverberating echos, originates in the Kirati period. Constructed traditionally from a cylindrical hollowed tree trunk, the Dhimay is made of brass and other metals these days. It has skin pads at both ends; the left skin is known as Nasah, and the right skin is called Mankah or Haima. Mankah carries a tuning paste inside. Skin straps are used to fasten the skin on both ends. The dhimay is played by beating one side with a bamboo stick that has a spiral head and by hand on the other side. When a musical group performs the Bansuri usually plays the lead. Murali is also a type of Bansuri which is made up of wood and its has a higher tone. The Murali is used predominantly in Newar communities.
The dholak (or dholaki ) is a percussion instrument played popularly in Southern Nepal, North India and Pakistan. The nâl is a more modern version. The dholak has a simple membrane on two sides and a handle on the right-hand side. The left-hand membrane has a special coating on the inner surface. This coating is a mixture of tar, clay and sand (dholak masala) which lowers the pitch and provides a well-defined tone. A dholak may have traditional lacing or turnbuckle tuning. The wood used for the body is usually made of teak wood, also known as "sheesham". The process of hollowing out the drum determines the sound and quality of the dholak.
Bansuri is made by bamboo with holes on it and it is blown from one end. It is a very popular instrument not only in Asia, but globally. The size of the bansuri differs according to its different scales. The Bansuris with lower scales are big and thicker whereas the ones with the higher scales are smaller. There are seven holes in a Bansuri. In the seven holes, one is used for blowing while the other six each have a relative note progression according to itself. In these six holes fingers are used to press or open the holes to get the desired note. When a musical group performs the Bansuri usually plays the lead. Murali is also a type of Bansuri which is made up of wood and its has a higher tone. The Murali is used predominantly in Newar communities.
The madal is a double-headed Nepali drum made of hand-carved wood and water buffalo hide. Its skins are made in the same way as the Tabla, with two layers on both sides and a black paste called Khari is applied in several layers to produce the desired sound. The strips of material at the sides of the drum may be moved to adjust its pitch. The madal is often used in processions, such as the parading of deities through the streets, religious holidays such as Dasain and Tihar, weddings, and everyday gatherings. It has a strap that is usually worn over the head or on the waist, leaving both hands free to strike the two ends of the drum.
The Murchunga is shaped like the base of a Shivalinga and is made of iron and copper. Due to its small size it is usually carried around in one's pocket and thus has traveled widely increasing its popularity. The Murchunga is played by placing the index and middle finger on the upper and lower jaw respectively while the middle part lies in the open space. The stem in the middle in moved back and forth. The vibration of the stem and the hollowness of the mouth causes sound to be created. The murchunga is also known around the world as the Jews Harp
The tungna is a 19th century string instrument that is usually carved from a single piece of wood of white rhododendron that is found only above 3500 feet. These days the wood is often replaced by Salla wood. The tungna has a waisted resonating chamber with a goatskin belly and strings made from sheep intestine. These days nylon strings are more common. It is played with a small, attached plectrum and is popular in the Himalayan region among the Sherpa people.
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