Friday, July 22, 2011

The string drum

One of the most intriguing musical instruments of India is the string drum known as "khamak" or "katho". This is a small two-headed drum with a string attached to one of the heads. The player plucks the string while pulling it at various tensions. The result sounds halfway between banjo and tablas.
Khamak is one of the instruments of Bengali musicians such as Babukishan Das Baul (in the above video), but is also played by folk musicians in other parts of India. Notice the khamak players in this pungi/bean band performing at the Chandigarh Carnival in Punjab & Haryana:

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