Folk Music & Instruments
Kachchh district has a rich culture of folk music and dance. People here are very fond of music and dance. Kachchhi folk music existed since ancient period here. It started from the ancient people who were used to invent new sounds for showing their sentiments and feelings. Gradually, this music further developed as Kachchhi folk music.
There are number of never seen instruments used by kachchhi people to produce music like tabla, sharnai, nagara, murli, janjhra, manjira, khanjari, ghaghar, flute,duff, dholak, damaru, daklu, nagfani, bhorrindo. These music instruments are linked with a number of aspects of kachchhi people and their religion. The music which is influenced by Sufi & Folk songs, Instruments like- Bhorrindo, Manjira , Morchay, Jodia Pava and Rava.
This is a family instrument of Langa community in Kachchh. It is a double reed wind instrument and has 7 to 9 holes. It is a short and tiny instrument on which the maestro can play with ease.
Bhorrindo is a very antique folk music instrument of Kachchh. It is a very ancient folk instrument. It is a simple vacant dirt all or like anegg twisted with holes arranged in an isosceles triangular form, apparently one fairly larger than another and is shaped like a hollow clay ball with three to four holes of different sizes. It is made of soft alluvial clay available in plenty everywhere in the central Indus Valley Civilization. It is popular among the young who play on it while grazing cattle.
Jodia Pawa has a significant roll in the rich cultural heritage of Kachchh. As we listen to Jodia Pawa, it is natural to understand that Jodia Pawa is a kind of a Bansari – a flute. But in fact it is different from Bansari.
Jodia Pawa is a pair of two flutes or double flutes or double flutes of the same size and length remains about 20 to 22 inches generally played together keeping both the flute in the mouth, One is called Nar- the male and the other is called Madi or Mali – the female.Nar has eight equi-distant holes for maintaining a drone or Sur.The Madi weaves the melody on this base over twelve holes on top on which fingers move. Of the twelve holes of the Madi, only the upper six are used functionally to manipulate music while the lower six are left open and free.
This is a very ancient stringed folk musical instrument of Kachchh. This instrument is played with the help of the bow or ‘Gaz’. ‘Surando’ is believed to have been played as ‘Sarinda’ in Northern parts of India as well as in Sindh of Pakistan.
This is a simple yet sophisticated instrument made of iron or brass. Morchang or Chang is a simple but spohisticated sounding device made of Iron or Brass. It is also found in other parts of India, as well as Austria, Italy, Australia and Indonesia. Made from Iron, but they are not as sweet as Morchangs of Kachchh and are also different in size and shape. This Instrument is mainly played by Shepherd Community for a long time while Grazing the cattles. It is not easy to Play. It Hurts the tounge, lips and lungs.
‘Kani’ or ‘Narr’ (a generic name for reed plants in Sindhi language) is a reed instrument common to Kachchh, Baluchistan in Pakistan, Iran and Turkey. ‘Narr’ is just a piece of hollow reed with four equidistant holes pierced towards the tail end and about 2-3 feet long. Traditionally, the ‘Narr’ and its music are associated with love, sorrow and separation
Dak or Dakul
Dak or Dakul belongs to the Damru Family. The shape of the Dak or Dakul is similar to the shape of the Damru, but bigger in size sometimes. It is played to create a horrifying atmosphere.
The body of the Dacca or Dakar is made of an hour-glass frame with vellum drum heads. The heads are usually of calf skin, tied to hoops on both sides and braced and tightened with ropes. It is struck only one side either by hand or by stick. The cords are pressed and released in quick succession to give varying degrees to tension to the skinheads effecting changes in tonal sound. The Dak or Dakul is mainly used by the medicants and jugglers of the Bhuva community. These Bhuvas play the Dak or Dakul at the time of elimination of the elements like ghost etc. Dak is also played while Observing tantrik-cult.
Dholak is one of the most important folk instruments of membraphonic class. It is used for accompaniment for singing and dancing. As such it is accepted as a percussion instrument for varied kinds of music, from modern film music to simple folk songs and dan. The shell or the main body of the Dholak is hollowed out of a solid block of wood, over the two usually equal size open ends of the hollowed cylinder; parchment is stretched by tightening cords of braces, through leather hoops on both sides. To achieve tonal variation between the two heads, generally a past of flour and iron filing is fixed on the parchment of the left side to permanently lower the tension of the left side head. Moreover small circular metal rings, loop or wooden pieces are passed through the braces which can be pulled on either side, to increase or decrease the tension of the heads. The right head is kept in high pitch and the left head is kept in low pitch. It is struck on both sides by the hands, fingers, knuckles and part of the palm. A metal ring is sometime tapped on the shell of the instrument.
Duff is an important folk instrument of rim-variety. It is an outdoor instrument and is used mainly for accompaniment with folk dance. Duff consists of an open circular frame of wood which is covered with skin on one side. The diameter of the Duff varies from three inches to three feet. Duff can be played either with the hand or with sticks. The Duff is played on many festive occasions like Holi, Muharram procession etc.
The origin of the Damru has been attributed to great antiquity and its significance in Indian mythology has been cemented upon by scholars. Damru is associated with Lord Shiva in Hindu mythology. It is said that Lord Shiva played Damru at the time of tandem-nritya. The Damru is also represented as an attribute of Shiva Natraja in ancient sculptures.
The shape of the Damru is like an hour-glass. Its length varies from six inches tom one foot. The body of the instrument is made of wooden hour-glass shaped shell with two skin-heads laced to the body by cotton rope or tarsier thread. A small ball of metal or cork is attached to a string which is bound round the narrow waist of the drum over the braces connecting the two heads.
The Damru is used for accompanying devotional and ritualistic folk music. Generally, it is used by mendicant’s snake charmers, gypsies and jugglers.
Flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike other woodwind instruments, a flute is a reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air against an edge, instead of using a reed.
Ghado or Ghaghar
Ghado is baked earthen Jat of an average size. A special variety known as Ghaghar which is made to order is a bigger jar bulging at its sides and having a shorter neck. The clay for Ghado or Ghaghar to be used as a musical instrument, is specially prepared by the expert potter, and is pressed to delicate thickness all over.
Ghado or Ghaghar is arrhythmic instrument. The variety of Tals is manipulated on the side walls and other on the mouth of the jar. Traditionally, Ghado or Ghaghar is played to the accompaniment of Surando.
Manjira is the smallest in metal clappers series. It is a pair of small and deep metallic cymbals, which are made of bronze or brass metal.
Nagara or NobatThey are kettledrums of old Nobat (traditional ensemble of nine instruments). We have a same instrument in India that its name is Nagada or Nagara to be usually accompanied with the Shehnay. This is a wooden drum-like instrument made in various sizes.
The Nagfani is an ordinary wavy pipe made of brass or bronze. The shape of this pipe is like Nal is used for accompaniment with folk dancing and singing. The Nal is a long cylindrical two faced drum tape ring on one side. The ring head parchment, pasted with iron filing is mounted on the body and held by hoops at both ends and fastened by rope. The left head is low pitched and is pasted from inside. The narrow head of the left side and its method of holding the parchment give the drum it’s bright and clear tone.