Name: Bulbul Tarang.

Type: Zither > Chordophone.

Region: Many > India > South East Asia.

Tuning: In C (all strings are tuned in unison, the same pitch).

Dimensions: L \ W cm.

The bubul tarang [Hindi: बुलबुल तरंग / Punjabi: بلبل ترنگ Shahmukhi] is a zither, that is very popular in South Asia including the Maldives. It is spread as far as Zanzibar where the name of the instrument "taishokoto and Indonesia under a different name "Mandilu". Originally invented in Japan under the name "Taisho goto" during the 1930's. Some time shortly after its arrival, two types emerged in South Asia one having a piano like keyboard and the other having a type writer like keyboard. The strings are tuned in unison and an octave apart usually to C or what ever pitch that suites the piece being performed.

A similar instrument called the "benju" [borrowing of the word "banjo"] is popular in boarder regions on the Indian and Pakistani boarder in Baluchistan, Sindh is descendant from a similar zither called an akkordolia. In the village of Telaga Waru, Pringgbaya County, East Lombok Indonesia the bulbul tarang is called mandilu.

Construction: This instrument is built in the same manner as the taisho-goto although available either with a type writer keyboard arrangement or piano keyboard configuration. The sound body is quite hollow, underneath the strings, frets are installed in a chromatic scale. Each key when pressed covers all the strings at the same time producing the desired pitch.

Citations: Society for Asian Music (1993). Society for Asian Music. Retrieved 17 April 2012. - toy Taisho Koto, probably first imported into India in the 1930s, which has caught on both in India and Pakistan and become a legitimate instrument, now called bulbul tarang (the nightingale's cascading voice) or banjo. > Article on the mandilu by Palmer Keen on his blog "Aural Archipelago".