Type: Percussion > Friction > Ideophone.
Region: India > South Asia.
Acquisition Source: Vancouver Folk Festival, Vancouver B.C.
The Bhapang is a plucked monochord percussion
instrument. One of the many instruments given the title as “talking
drum”. It is found in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Punjab where
it is known by its regional names. Chongar in Maharashtra, Apang in
Gujarat and Tumba in the Punjab. The Bhapang originally comes from the
Mewati community in the Alwar district.
When playing this instrument a musician pulls
a wooden handle tied on to the oposite end of the string. While the same
string is attached to a membrane. During performance the drum emits a
oscillating tone that gives the instrument its particular voice. It is
one of the instruments used to accompany vocals during the performances
of Bhajans “spiritual devotional songs”.
The construction of the bhapang is quite simple, it
is made from a gourd where a hole is carved. A membrane of animal skin
is attached with tacks to hold the instrument together. A string is
attached from handle to membrane. Five small metal bells are attached to
the handle. These instruments are made either plane or with
ornamentation as viewed on my specimen.