Popular 15 Musical Instruments in Nepal

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Music Plays very significant Role in Nepal and People Living in Nepal. Music of Nepal is very much Connected to Nepal and Nepal Traditions. When we talk about Nepal Music, We are actually connecting with Traditional Musical Instruments in Nepal. There are more than 200s different types of musical instruments in Nepal. Not only that various Musical Instruments in Nepal are played on significant occasions and ceremony and music as well. For easy Understanding, Panche Baja is a set of five different musical instruments played during an occasion like marriage. On this article, we will be explaining Popular 15 Musical Instruments in Nepal.

Related: Different Genre of Musi in Nepal
Related: Origin of Newar Music
Related: Newari Popular Musical Instruments in Nepal
Related: Biska Jatra of Nepal

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1. DHEMAYA (DHIME)

Musical Instrument of Nepal- Dhemaya Baja
Musical Instrument of Nepal- Dhemaya Baja

Dhemay is one of the popular musical instruments in Nepal played by Newari people falls on the category of double-headed cylindrical membranophones or membrane. It is a traditional drum made up of either from metal or cylindrical hollowed tree trunk and the membrane is made from an animal’s skin and is quite heavier. According to Hindu Myth, it is believed that the Dhemaya Baja is invented by Lord Mahadev (Shiva) and is played during the time of Kirat Era by Newari people.

2. BASURI (MURALI)

Musical Instruments of Nepal- Basuri
Musical Instrument of Nepal- Basuri

Basuri or Murali is an Aerophonic musical instrument which in the common word is said as Flute. Basuri is one of the oldest musical instruments in Nepal played during various festivals, celebrations, rituals, and also in programs and recently is also used in playing various music.

3. MADAL

 Musical Instruments of Nepal- Madal
Musical Instrument of Nepal- Madal

Madal is one of the popular Nepalese musical instruments in Nepal which is played in folk and traditional music. A Madal lies in the category of two- side membrane and is cylindrical shape made up of hollowed wood and each side of the membrane is made using the skin of the animal. Madal is played using two hands. It is said that Madal is first introduced by the Magar community and in present, it is played by ever caste of people in Nepal. Madal was basically played in folk and traditional music and in present Madal is used to playing other types of Songs.

4. SARANGI

Musical Instruments of Nepal- Sarangi
Musical Instrument of Nepal- Sarangi

Sarangi is another folk musical instrument that lies in the category of Chordophones Sarangi is made up of wood with a fashionable design Sarangi is played like a violin but the way it is played is a little different from a very melodious sound. Sarangi is played from a very old period of time with its unique rhythm and tones. In those days, Sarangi was played visiting one place to another to convey message or news or story singing which is related to sorrow across the country. Sarangi was used to play by Gandharva and how it’s played by every caste people who wished to learn.

5. PANCHAI BAJA

Musical Instruments of Nepal- Panche Baja
Musical Instrument of Nepal- Panche Baja

Panchai Baja is a collection of five different musical instruments. Panchi means ‘Five’ and Baja means ‘Instruments’, so the name was formed meaning five different instruments. The five different instruments are Jhurma (Cymbal), Narsingha (Trumpet), Nagara (Drum), Sanai (Clarinet) and Tyamko. The collective of five different musical instruments makes a single name called ‘Panchai Baja’.

5.1. SAHANAI

Sahanai is a type of musical instruments in Nepal which lies in the category of Aerphonic, which is played through mouth blowing air. It looks very much similar to Clarinet. It is made with a metal like a pipe with slightly bent with a couple of tuning holes.

5.2. TYAMKO

Tyamko is a part of Panchai Baja which lies in the category of Single-side Membrane quite more similar to Damaha or Nagara played hitting a membrane with one pair of small sticks called Gajo. The size of Tyamko is quite small than the Nagara.

5.3. NAGARA/DAMAHA

Nagara or Damaha is known as a traditional drum in Nepal which lies in the category of the single-side membrane which is played hitting membrane with hands and stick. It is made up of leather stretched membrane shaped like a bowl. The size of Nagara is bigger than Tyamko.

5.4. NARSINGA

Narsingha is an Aerophonic musical instrument that is very much similar to Trumpet played by blowing air. Narsingha is made up of two pieces of copper tube.

5.5. JHYALI/JHYAMTA/JHURMA

Jhyali is one important instrument of Panchai Baja which lies in the category of Idiophones which is also played by Newar community people popularly known as Bhushya. It’s a metallic plate (brass or bronze) which is plate hitting one another with the rhythm of other musical Instruments.

6. GAN

Musical Instruments of Nepal- Gan (Bell)
Musical Instrument of Nepal- Gan (Bell)

Gan is a Newari word for Bell. Gan plays an important role in Hindu and Buddhist ceremonial, pujas and rituals. There are various sizes of gan which is played in Nepal. Some are very small and some are too tiny. Some are also called as wind bell, Bajra Ghanta by Buddhist followers.

7. SANKHA

 Musical Instruments of Nepal- Sankha
Musical Instrument of Nepal- Sankha

Sankha is a holy and ancient musical instrument which is also known as Konch. Sankha is a Shell of Sea creature played by blowing air and is played during the occasion of worship and also during the funeral, played only in ritual events. Most Hindu follower plays Shankha indicating the start of the ritual. Sankha is also played when someone starts any new work.

8. DHOLAK

 Musical Instruments of Nepal- Dholak
Musical Instruments of Nepal- Dholak

Dholak is another two-sided membrane that is very much similar to Dhah in structure but the way it is played is similar to the Paschima. If you talk about the size, there are various sizes of Dholak played in different parts of the country. Dholak is mostly played during Dhalcha Bhajans. And Dholak is supporting music played with Bansuri (flute). Dholak is Basically known played by Madhesh people especially when the celebration of Holi festival and other occasions such as Birth of a child and when welcoming harvesting.

9. DHANGRO

Musical Instruments of Nepal- Dhangro
Musical Instrument of Nepal- Dhangro

Dhangro is one of the musical instruments in Nepal played mostly by Jhankris (Witch Doctors) or Kirat people. It is not- Newar musical but it has become one of the important musical instruments played in various rituals. Jhankris plays Dhangro when worshiping and when treatment of people falling from sick, which is a superstation belief of traditional method of treatment and is still prevailing in some rural villages in Nepal.

10. TUGNA

Musical Instruments of Nepal- Tugna
Musical Instruments of Nepal- Tugna

Tunga is another popular traditional musical instruments in Nepal that lies in the category of Chordophones Such music is usually played by the people living in the Himalayan region of Nepal. Tunga is made up of a piece of rhododendron- (national flower) wood with the strings like a Sarangi. However, it is played like a guitar.

OTHER IMPORTANT TRADITIONAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

11. YALAMBER

Yamamber is one of the musical instruments that started from the rules of the Kirat dynasty. It is a Chordophones musical instrument with only two strings. The instrument is made up of bamboo.

12. EKTARE

Ektare is a musical instrument played by Jogis. It is made up of the wooden frame covered with skin. It has only one string. It is also believed that it is the earliest musical instrument type like a sitar.

13. DHAMPHU

Dhampu is a musical instrument that is popularly known played by the Tamang community in Nepal. It is made up of hollow wood with a membrane made up of skin which is like a small drum.

14. DAFALI

Musical Instrument of Nepal- Dafali
Musical Instrument of Nepal- Dafali

Dafali is one of the popular Nepali musical instruments played in Terai region of Nepal it is a membrane which is made up of hollow and uses skin side of membrane played during various celebration and festivals.

15. PUNG

One interesting and one of the oldest musical instruments that is an aerophone played from the time of Kirat rule and still play by Kirat community mainly in Solukhumbu District. It is made up of the horn of the ox.

Related: NEWARI MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IN NEPAL

Conclusion

There are the Popular 15 Musical Instruments in Nepal Played during various occasions and Celebration in Nepal. There are various Musical Instruments of Nepal yet to be Discussed and will be explained in other nearer time. These popular 15 musical instruments in Nepal have always played a significant roles in Nepal people’s Life.

References:

Lohia. R. (2019). Traditional Music Instruments of Nepal. From OMG Nepal. Retrieved from: https://www.namastenepalayas.us/biska-jatra-in-nepal/
Folk Musical Instruments of Nepal, (n d). Folk Musical Instruments of Nepal. From: Kullabs. Retrieved From: https://www.kullabs.com/classes/subjects/units/lessons/notes/note-detail/140

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