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26 Nepali Musical Instruments Names with Pictures

As Nepal is rich in culture and tradition, we have many traditional musical instruments due to the diversification of people living here, these musical instruments differ as per the places, people, races, culture, festivals, religions, and people. Most of these instruments are played on special occasions like marriage ceremony, festivals, fairs, Jatras, or any other special events.

Music is played in Nepal from Mountain to the Terai region of Nepal. The research said that there are around 200 original instruments in Nepal. Among them, 108 types are still playing across the nation. Panche baja is the most musical instrument in Nepal and specially used on the marriage ceremony. Similarly, the Newar community uses a lot of musical instruments from basuri, jhyamta, dholak during their Jatras and other ceremonies. These musical instruments are popular not just in Nepal but also famous outside the country too.

Basically, a musical instrument is divided into three categories on the basis of the nature of playing:

  1. String: These musical instruments are used of different lengths and have vibrating strings such as Sarangi, Sitar.

2. Wind: These musical instruments create melodious sounds using the length of air. Generally, these instruments create sound when blown such as Basuri, Sanai, Murali, etc.

3. Percussion: Musical instruments that need physical pressure which is played by hitting with hand or stick such as drum, Madal. etc.

Here we have listed most of the famous Musical instrument in Nepal.

1. Madal

This normal Nepalese percussion device is the backbone of a maximum of Nepali folk music. It is one of the well-known folk musical instruments related to our lifestyles. Madal has a cylindrical frame with a slight bulge at its middle and heads at each ends, one head large than the other. This device is made in particular with pores and skin stretched over each of the ends of a timber hole tube and tightened with leather-based strings, for the convenience it has a strand that is going across the waist of the individual playing it to maintain it horizontally.

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Madal broadly used as a hand drum in Nepal. It is assumed that it turned into first delivered with the aid of using the Magar community, but it is equally popular among all the Nepalese society.

The tune of Madal can not stop anyone from dancing, that’s why in most of the Nepali folk songs, Madal is compulsorily used.

2. Flute – Bansuri

Bansuri is one of the best Nepali Musical Instrument. The word “Bansuri” originates from the Sanskrit word “Bans” which simply means bamboo and “Sur” which means musical note. The pitch and sound of the Bansuri depend on the length and thickness of the bamboo used. The bamboo chosen to make the flute must be selected very carefully.

It is a cylindrical tube product of bamboo with a uniform bore and closed at one end. It is made from a single length of bamboo and has six to eight open fingers holes which constitute the musical notes.

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To produce sound or melody one has to cover the finger holes with the hands of the left and proper hand. Bansuri is held horizontally and is willing downwards while it’s far played. Variations in pitch are produced by changing the powerful length of the air column. The variety of the bansuri or flute is set 2 and a 1/2 of octaves. Long bansuris or flutes have a rich, deep, and mellow tone while in small bansuris or flutes the tone is excessive pitched.

3. Sarangi

Sarangi resembles the violin in western culture. It is traditionally a folk musical instrument mainly performed with the aid of using the Gandharva community in Nepal. Sarangi in Nepal is performed for many years and features its personal well-known rhythms and tones. Gandharvas used to travel across the country and pass home to home, sing the track of contemporary affairs. Thus, Sarangi in Nepal has been used as an instrument to bring the message and information throughout the country.

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Sarangi is made from a piece of wood, the lowest of that’s made a hole and 4 portions of strings are mounted tightly with 4 wooden nails constant at the top of it. It is performed with the aid of using rubbing on a group of strings mainly left and ) again and again with a small stick, that’s mounted with a few strings.

4. Murchunga

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Murchunga is a traditional Nepali musical instrument and it can also be referred to as one of the oldest musical instruments in the world. It is a soothing and soulful instrument, is made with a flexible metal or bamboo tongue attached to a lyre-shaped frame.

Murchunga is likewise practiced amongst Kiranti people. It is performed by plucking its metal cord reed with forefinger being gripped among the teeth. The extent of the note may be various by inhaling and out.

When in THAMEL you can catch on a Murchunga player and experience absolute serendipity hearing the sound of the fabulous musical instrument.

5. Dhimay

Dhimaya, Dhimaya, or Dhimabaja is a drum performed by the Newars in Nepal. It is performed collectively with different musical instruments. The length of this device varies from a diameter of forty inches to fifty-one inches and a length of 17 inches to 21 inches. The outer part of the drum is made from wooden or metal.

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Old Dhimey has a few abnormal shapes however present-day drums are either cylindrical or barely barrel-shaped. On the inside of the left side, referred to as Mankhah (Haima in Bhaktapur) a red tuning paste is implicated, presenting a deep sound. There are kinds of dhimay. The smaller ones are referred to as “Dhaacha Dhimay” and larger are referred to as “Ma Dhimay”.

6-10. Panche Baja

Panche Baja is a group of five musical instruments. This musical instrument replayed together during the marriage. The five musical instruments in Panche Baja are:

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  • Narsingha (Trumpet): It is made of two pieces of curved copper tube that is played by blowing air through its mouthpiece.
  • Damaha: It is made of leather stretched over an end of a hollow copper bowl played by hitting with hands or sticks.
  • Tyamko: It is similar to Damaha in shape but very small in size, played with two pieces of sticks called Gajo.
  • Sanai: It is made of a metal shaped like a pipe slightly bent forward has a couple of holes, reed on the top that you blow into.
  • Dholaki: It is manufactured from timber that is a hole inside and covered with leather.

11. Jhyali

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Jhyali is a conventional folk percussion tool from Nepal. This tool is made through a Nepali alloy, referred to as Pancha Dhatu (5 metals). The alloy includes brass, copper, silver, zinc, and gold, and is typically made by blacksmiths. They are thinly walled, encompass a pair of round, steel plates, comparable to cymbals, and are utilized in each folk and classical songs in Nepal. Jhyali is performed through rubbing the plates with the proper hand rising and the left hand descending on the time once they clash.

12. Jhyamta

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It is a couple of flat round dish-like musical instruments made of brass or bronze, played by beating on each other.

13. Tungna

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Tungna is a famous musical tool used in the Himalayan region of Nepal. It is crafted from the timber of Rhododendron and has 4 wires just like the Sarangi.

14. Khainjadi

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Khaijadi is a type of small drum manufactured from skin stretched over a fringe of a rounded hole timber. It is specially performed at the event of singing a kind of song called Roila and Balam. It is likewise performed for the duration of Bhajan-kirtan through Hindus. Traditional Nepali-styled, absolutely hand-made using ox hide, seasoned timber, and bronze.

15. Damphu

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Damphu tool is used in Tamang community and made through masking the timber with leather.

17. Dhyangro

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Dhyangro is a kind of drum manufactured from hollow timber by stretching leather each of its edges and performed with a curved stick known as Gajo. This is a traditional medical remedy triumphing in Nepal. It is mainly utilized by faith healers (Dhami/Jhakri) at the event of worshiping or treating humans.

18. Pungi

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Pungi is made through a coconut shell, is a hollow bamboo pipe. It is performed to reveal the snake dance in the Terai region of Nepal.

19. Yalamber

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Yalamber is manufactured from bamboo with wires. It is utilized by the Kirat community.

20. Ekatare

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Ekatare is utilized by the sages and ascetics and manufactured from timber, leather, and string.

21. Urni

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Urni is performed especially through the Dhimal Community manufactured from the outer hardcover of the coconut through stretching leather and fastening a string with a rod.


22. Masak

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Masak baja (as seen in the picture) is an ancient bagpipe instrument made of leather, commonly played at celebrations like weddings. It forms a part of the ‘Antique Indian Musical Instruments’ of the – Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur.

23. Sankha

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Sankha is made from a big shell of the conch discovered within the sea and ocean. It is performed through blowing air with our mouth. Sankha is performed during puja and different non-secular ceremonies of the Hindus. It is likewise blown while the dead body is taken for cremation.

24. Irlung pipari

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Irlung Pipari is a small musical instrument made from bamboo. It is smaller than the flute, manufactured from horns of Krishna Saar (black antelope), and used to provide sound blowing into. It is especially utilized by Jogis to blow across the homes of humans, believing that there might be no damage from evils.

25. Tabala

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Tabla is taken in “Leather Slaughter (छाला बध्यबादन)” so it is called tall badan. It is a traditional musical instrument that originated from the Indian subcontinent. It consists of a pair of drums, used in traditional, classical, popular, and folk music.

26. Dafli

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Dafali is also an Indian originated musical instrument from the Muslim community. It is very popular in Nepal during puja and bhajan-kirtan and mostly played in the Terai community in Nepal. Also during, Deusi-Bhailo, it is commonly used in Nepal.

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