Nepalese Musical Instruments
MusicThe Newars are very much rich in traditional, classical and folk music as in dances. Various music and dance events take place in different parts of Newar societies on the occasion of different festivals. In fact, the Newars are so duly intermixed with music and dances that not a single festival, feast or ceremony, 'from womb to tomb', passes without a music or music and dances. Various songs, musical instruments and dances are connected with various religious, social and cultural lives of the Newars Different musical instruments are in practice in the festival, feasts, and ceremonies and also in funeral procession. Musical instruments
It is believed that there are about 200 (two hundred) types of original musical instruments in Nepal, and 108(one hundred eight types) of musical instruments have been found till now. A great number of Newar musical instruments are included in it. These instruments can be classified into four classes according to Sangeet Shastra. i) Membranophones - Dhimay, Dhah, Paschima, NayaKhin etc.
ii) Idiophones - Bhusyah, Chhusyah, TainNain etc.
iii) Chordophones - Piwancha
iv) Aerophones - Muhali, Nekoo, Bansuri etc.
Mostly used musical instruments in Newar societies are membranophones, which are generally accompanied with idiophones and aerophones.
Dhimay is the most common musical instruments amongst the Newars. It is considered as the oldest musical instruments amongst the membranophones. Even though there is no evidence that Mahadeva invented this instruments (as legend says) but there is evidence to support that it dates back to Kirat period. It resembles the Chyabrung of Kirat Rais and Dhola of Tharus. Dhimay is played in almost al ceremonial marches by the Jyapus. They are fund lost in dancing with deep rumble of Dhimay in festivals.
Dhimay is constructed from cylindrical hollowed tree trunk with leather pads at both of its ends. Nowadays, Dhimays are frequently made of brass and other metals. the general size of Dhimay is 20" in length and 16" in diameter .Its left hand hide which sounds much higher is known as Nasah, whilst another hide is called Mankah or Haima. Mankah carries a tunning paste inside. Dhimays are of two kinds: bigger Ma Dhimay and smaller Dhahcha Dhimay or Yalaypoh Dhimay.
Dhimay has capacity to produce a multiple reverberating echo, which is its main feature.
Dhimay is accompanied with Bhusyah (a pair of cymbals). Chhusyah and TainNain is also played in some places. [Audio] top
Gunla ( a month according to Nepal Era ) is taken as Buddhist holy month. As Dhah is played during Gunla it is also termed as 'Gunla Bajan'.It looks similar to Dhimay but is Slightly smaller than Dhimay. Dhah is constructed from cylindrical hollowed tree trunk slightly smaller than that of Dhimay. Tuning paste is stuck at the inner side of Mankah. Tuning paste is made of castor seeds, mustard oils etc.
Besides in the Gunla month, Dhah is also practiced in different dances and other different festivities.
Dhah is accompanied with Bhusyah (pair of cymbals), Tah (smaller cymbals), Muhali (clarinet/trumpets) or Bansuri (flute ). Ponga is also played in Bhairab dance of Thimi. [Audio] Paschima
Myth says, Paschima was invented by lord Krishna. This instrument is also known as Mridanga. It is a double headed drum with tuning paste in on hide (Nasah) and dough made of wheat flour is plastered in the other hide (Mankah) before playing. Paschima is accompanied with Baboocha (thinner cymbals), Tah (thicker cymbal), Muhali (shwam) or Bansuri (flute). Nayakhin
It is another musical instrument used in many rituals. This instruments is mainly played by the Khadgis, however, this instrument is also played by other castes. It is also called as 'NayaKhin' or 'Dyah Khin'. Since it is also played in funeral processions it is also known as 'Seeh Bajan' (funeral drum). Long long ago, there was a tradition to...
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