Name: Sahanai.

Type: Double Reed > Aerophone.

Region: Nepal > South Asia.

Dimensions: Length in cm.

Acquisition Date:

Acquisition Source: Ian MacKenzie (trip to Nepal).

A Sahanai is a conical oboe and classified as a double reed aerophone. Found in Nepal s played it is played among the damai caste or tailor musicians. Close relatives most notably the shenai and a variation of this instrument found in Uttar Pradesh. The name sahanai is thought to derive from Indian and Persian sources.

It is believed the candidate for the origins of the Sahanai is likely an earlier form of Central Asian double reed oboe called a naubat that was played in military bands called Naqqarakhana. In Nepal the Sahanai are traditionally played in pairs.

Playing Technique: The first sahanai performs the melodic line and the second sahanai provides accompaniment as a drone. Circular breathing is used to play this instrument.

Construction: The sahanai has a total of 8 finger holes. That is 7 finger holes and a thumb hole. It has a conical bore made from a lathed wooden body, and flared brass bell is affixed to the bottom. Nails are delicately hammered in and serve as ornaments. This instrument maybe constructed in a straight or curved form. The reed of the Sahanai is constructed from a thin cane type plant in which its folded multiple number of times. The reed is wrapped around a small brass tube with coloured thread. Should the reed crack it can be replaced.

Citations: New Grove Dictionary of Music by Stanley Sadie. Vol. 3 Pages 283 to 284 -article by Reis Flora. Bibliography: K. S. Khothari Indian Folk Musical Instruments Delhi 1968. B.S. Deva -The Double-reed areophone in India, Y/FMC vii 1975.