Over the centuries, the country of the Himalayas, Nepal have been populated by a variety of ethnic groups of Mongoloid and Indo-Aryan descent. Despite their diversity, these groups reflect a unique geographical environment that has shaped their way of life and thought. This Himalayan country Nepal rests in between the Tibet and India. Nepal has a wealthy of traditional music and instruments that are still part of people's lives. This Himalayan country and its people enjoy the Himalayan Musical Instruments. The Himalayan Musical Instruments are mainly the mixture of both Indian and Tibetan musical instruments. The musical instrument found in this Himalayan land Nepal is called Himalayan Musical Instrument because these Himalayan Musical Instruments are widely found and used in this Himalayan land Nepal. These Himalayan Musical Instruments play very important roles in the culture, tradition and the society. The Himalayan Kingdom has richest and most diverse culture landscape anywhere.
This Himalayan land Nepal is the holy land of Lord Pashupatinath and Gautam Buddha where the Hindus and Buddhists co-exist in harmony for centuries. Music and Dance have always been an integral part of Nepalese culture. The different people in this Himalayan land have different cultures and traditions. People in Nepal share different religion and cultures. Nepal is very rich in religion and culture. Both Buddhists and Hindu religion live together and share their own culture and tradition. Nepalese people have different castes they have their own cultures. Like Newar, Gurung, Thakali, Magar, Brahman, Chhetri, Tharu, Sunuwar, etc. and they have their own tradition and culture. Different people from different place in Nepal share different cultures, like music, ritual ceremony, celebrations, etc. The have their own music and musical instruments like; Newar, Tharu, Thakali, Gurung, Magar, all have their own tradition of music and musical instruments though many of them are common to everyone.
Since Nepal lies in between the Tibet and India therefore the musical influence of both country Tibet (China) and India coexist along with the Nepalese folk music in Nepal. Nepal shares the music trends of Nepalese folk music, Indian Music and Tibetan Music. Moreover the Nepalese music have been greatly influenced by Tibetan and Indian music. So it is obvious that Tibetan Musical Instruments and Indian Musical Instruments are found in large quantity in Nepal. The musical instruments themselves are the reminders of the commitment of people to a musical and spiritual life, connections between cultures, signs of great ingenuity and creativity, and physical emblems of the sounds they create. Music is about expression, communication, release, celebration, worship, ritual and enjoyment, and the instruments support all of these.
The Himalayan Musical Instruments or the Nepalese Musical Instruments can be understood according to the people who use the purposes they are used for. Some are used in Nepalese classical music which is influenced by the Indian musical instruments, some for folk music, like by Gandharvas and Dhami musician castes, some for religious or spiritual ceremonies and processions which are influenced by Tibetan cultures and traditions, and some for specific purposes in the village life of Nepal's many ethnic groups. Most of the musical instruments used in Nepal are originated in India and Tibet, but all have developed in uniquely Nepalese ways.
The Rising of Classical Instruments in Nepal: The main musical instruments in Nepalese classical music are familiar to most foreigners to the sub-continent through Indian classical music, which is the basis of Nepalese classical music. Even, people who know virtually nothing about Nepal or India have heard the mysterious, calming strains of the versatile Sitar, Sarod and Tabla. Indian classical instruments came to Nepal when the Malla King hired muslim musicians to play Indian classical music at court. Prithivi Narayan Shah's enmity of the Mallas apparently extended to their court music; when he became ruler of Nepal in 1768, he banned classical musicians - and effectively, the instruments - from Nepal. His successor, Rana Bahadur Shah, was quite the opposite, even termed a bit mad for his passionate love of music, so the musicians and musical instruments came back again. The Rana continued the ruling passion for classical music and supported the musicians with gifts of land elephants. Over the past few hundred years, Nepalese classical musicians have faithfully followed the basic note patterns of the Indian ragas. However, improvisation is also essential to the tradition and Nepalese styles of improvisation have developed slightly differently from the styles in various regions of India. Sitar, Tabla, Mridangam, Bansuri, Veena, Dholak, Shehnai, Sarod, Tanpura, Mridang, Tambura, etc. are widely found in Nepal.
Folk Musical Instruments: The sixty-seven odd ethnic groups of Nepal all use at least some basic forms of musical instruments. Folk music plays important role in every Nepalese society or life. Nepalese like Newar, Gurung, Thakali, Magar, Brahman, Chhetri, Tharu, Sunuwar, etc. have their own tradition and culture most of them are based folk music tradition. They perform celebrations, ritual ceremonies, wedding ceremony, are all performed with the help of Folk musical instruments. Though different people have different cultures but they all share the basic musical instrument when it comes to the celebrations. Pancha baja, Nau Baja, Madal, Damaru, Sarangi, Bansuri (Murali), Damfu, Damaha, Nagada, Ankle Bells, etc the Nepalese Folk Musical Instruments.
Influence of Tibetan Musical Instruments in Nepal: Most of Nepal's hill and mountain ethnic groups originated in Tibet. Over the centuries, they brought with them both the sacred and the folk instruments of Tibet. Some instruments evolved with the cultures over the years and some were lost in the new land. The 1950s and onward influx of Tibetan refugees into Nepal brought back the original form of Tibetan Musical instruments, and some of the ethnic groups, particularly the Sherpas, are reclaiming the Tibetan Musical Instruments. Tibetans in the Diaspora have put a great deal of effort into preserving their culture and incidentally have been helping to revive it in Nepal. Some of the most ancient instruments are preserved in Buddhist rituals. Just as Buddhist tantric images feature necklaces of skulls on wrathful deities, some of the instruments are made out of human bones. Bone trumpets (Kamling) were used for various rituals, including sky burial ceremonies and cho practice - chants and meditation on non-attachment - which was often done in charnal grounds (the place where bodies were left to be consumed by birds). The damaru was traditionally made from two human skulls and used in plethora of rituals. A cacophony of wind and percussion instruments are still commonly used at monasteries to welcome guests, for the charm sacred dances, and to make offerings of sound to the deities on many occasions. At Lhosar, the Tibetan New Year, in Boudha, one monastery brings out two several meter-long tungchen trumpets to blast from the rooftop.The Gyalin, Tibetan shawm, has a sound not like the Shehnai but Singchen (Cymbals) and large drums, very similar to the Dhyangro shamanic drums, which may have evolved from them. Probably the most familiar monastic instrument of all is the Thibu the hand bell used in combination with the Vajra. Like the Himalayan singing bowls the Thibu Bell (Ghanta) creates a remarkable overtone series of sound which some have associated with the different realms of existence. Tibetan Laha, Vajra Ghanta, Damaru, Tungna, Tingshaw, Singing Bowls, etc. are widely found in Nepal.
In this way the Himalayan people of Nepal enjoy the various types of Himalayan Musical Instruments which have been inspired by both Tibet and India. Along with Nepalese folk musical instrument both the Indian classical musical instruments and Tibetan musical instruments coexist side by side. Though the Himalayan Musical Instruments have been inspired and influenced by the Indian classical musical and and Tibetan musical instruments but all have developed in uniquely Nepalese way. The various types of Himalayan Musical Instruments are used traditionally for religious ceremonies, celebrations, offerings and more. Different Himalayan Musical Instruments are used in different purposes, like singing bowls are used for healing the diseases, Damaru, Tingshaw and Vajra Ghanta are used for ritual ceremony, Pancha Baja, Nau Baja, Shehnai, Dholak, Damaha, Trumpets etc. are used mostly for marriage ceremony and other ceremonies, Sarangi is used to tell the historic events, Madal, Ankle Bells, Tabla, Sitar, etc. are mostly used for entertaining purposes.
Panche Baja, Nau Baja, Sarangi, Sitar, Tabla, Damaru and more. Some of the few names are: Madal, Tabla, Shehnai, Dhyangro, Bansuri, Tibetan Laha, Dholak, Ocean Drum, Tabla, Damaru, Madal, Damaha, Nagada, Singing Bowls, Trumpets, Tingshaws, various kinds of flutes, cymbals are traditionally produced in this Himalayan region of Nepal.
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