Musical Instrument

Many ancient stone statues and other evidences show that Nepali music was alive even before the Kirant and the Licchavi dynasties. 7th century inscriptions show the existence of a well-organized musical team (orchestra) even during that era. There are many musical instruments most of which are made with the help of local resources. Nekoo, made of the horn of a water buffalo, is believed to scare evil spirits once played. The Panche Baaja is a group of musical instruments without which no Nepali wedding is said to be complete. It comprises of five instruments played together, they are:

Shehnai: It makes a wailing sound, which is very moving.

Nagara or tyamko: It is a single headed round drum made of animal skin played with two sticks.

Kar nal: It is curled up and produces a piercing and powerful sound.

Damaha: It is a small single-headed drum with a sharp sound.

Jhyali:These are a pair of small bars which gives a tolling sound when played by hitting against one another.

Dhime: This is a double-headed cylindrical drum with a big wooden body. Its right side is beaten with a light cane and the left is beaten with the hand of the player. It is widely used by the Jyapu s (farmers) of Kathmandu on festive occasions.

Nayekhin: It is a small double headed drum with a sharp sound. It was used to attract public attention to announce important news.

Madal: This is the most popular and widely used drum in Nepal. It is made of leather with a wooden body. Most Nepali folk songs are accompanied by the playing of this drum.

Sarangi: This is a seven stringed musical instrument produced and played by Gaines (professional folk singers of Nepal).

Dholak: This is a double headed drum widely used in the Terai part of Nepal for public fairs and festivals.
Mridang: This is a very ancient double headed drum with a very heavy wooden body. It produces a gentle and pleasant sound.

Shahnai or Mridang: It is like a small trumpet and it makes a wailing sound, which is very moving. It is used for many religious ceremonies.

Damphu: This is a double- sided disk shaped drum topped with leather and with a long wooden handle. It is played with great zeal with jumping and leaping in the air.

Pongah: This is about 6 ft long and is made of copper with intricate carvings and art-work on it. It is used mostly by Buddhist monks and is somewhat similar to a Karnal.