MUSIC OF HIMACHAL PRADESH

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» North India
» Himachal Pradesh
String Instruments: Gharotu, Sarangi, Ektara, Rubana, Gova
Wind Instruments: Bansuri, Shehnai, Karnal, Ransingha
Purcussion Instruments: Dhol, Nagara, Kanjari, Jhanj


MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
GHAROTU Popular in the Nirmand area it is played with a bow made from hair of the horsetail. It resembles the Sarangi, but does not have different keys. Its four strings are tuned according to local needs.

SARANGI
This many stringed instrument produces a sound close to the human voice. Played with a bow it can create any tune and is used in folk as well as classical music.

EKTARA
This single string instrument has a hollow body covered with goatskin. The string can be tightened by a peg fixed at the end of the long stick running through the body of the Ektara. It is played while singing religious songs.

GOVA
Gova is a string instrument of Lahaul-Spiti and some parts of Kinnaur. It is also played by plucking at the strings.

JHANJ
It has two big cymbals made of brass and is played in all the regions of Himachal. Both the cymbals are held by the string that passes through their center and played by striking them with each other.

RUBANA
Rubana is a guitar like instrument played by plucking strings with one hand while the performer plays a Khanjari, which is a small one-sided drum, with the other hand. Rubana is played in the Bharmaur area, to sing Musadhas-folk rendering of religious songs usually praising lord Shiva.

KHANJARI
Khanjari has a small round body made of wood and is covered with goatskin on one side only. It is played with a single hand and is used in singing folk songs. 'Dadra' and 'Kharwa' beats are played beautifully on it.

HUDHAK Like a big Damroo in shape, Hudhak is an ancient instrument. Its middle part is slim and both the open sides are covered with goatskin.

NAGARA
Nagar has two kettledrums of different sizes. The bigger one is made of copper and is covered with buffalo skin to produce a heavy and deep sound. The smaller one is made of steel and is covered with camel skin, thus producing a light sound. The Nagara is played with two sticks by a player and is used on festive occasions.

BANSURI
It is the most popular wind instrument of Himachal and is made of wood, steel, copper, brass, silver and even gold. It has seven or eight holes to produce different musical notes and is considered an instrument of the shepherds.

SHEHNAI
Literally Shehnai means 'the Emperor of the wind instruments' and it is really the perfect musical instrument, capable of producing the subtlest notes. Made of wood or metal it is quite popular throughout the state of Himachal.

KARNAL
Karnal is also a very ancient instrument and is used like the Ransingha. It has a straight body made of brass, copper or silver. Only two or three high notes can be played on it

RANSINGHA
Ransingha is played in the high mountain areas of Himachal. Made of metals like brass or silver, it has either a long straight body or usually has the shape of the English letter 'S'.

DHOL
Dhol is a very popular instrument played in festivals, fairs, folk dances and wrestling bouts. Its big round hollow body is made either of wood or some metal. Both the open ends are covered with goatskin that is tightened with the strings running across the body of the Dhol. It is played with hands and sticks.



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