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Name: Ektara. Type: Membranophones > Drums > Tension > Plucked Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 211.321.22 Country: India. Region: South Asia. Dimensions: Length, in Cm. Specimen: Rajasthan, India. Acquisition Source: Ian MacKenzie trip to Rajasthan India. Description: Ektara [in Hindi: एकतारा ; in Bengali: একতারা ; in Punjabi: ਇਕ ਤਾਰਾ ; literally “one-string” ; it is also called iktar, ektar, yaktaro, gopichand, gopichant, gopijiantra, tun tuna] is a one-string instrument or monochord of the membranophone family. It is most often played in traditional music from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. The ektara was a regularly played stringed instrument of the wondering bards and minstrels from India. Ektara are commonly used in kirtan chanting, a form of Hindu devotional singing of divine names and mantras in an ecstatic call and response format. Ektaras are played by Sadhus who are wandering holy men and for Sufi chanting as well as the Baul’s of Bengal. Techniques: The ektara is played by plucking one string, and held between the thumb and pointy finger. The ektara is balanced by the hand when being played. In origin the ektara was a regular string instrument of wandering bards and minstrels from India and is plucked with one finger. The ektara while is described as a stringed instrument, and monochord. Construction: The ektara is constructed from a gourd affixed with a flexible membrane, flexible neck made from bamboo thats split in parallel so it could be attached to the gourd, a tuning peg and single string. The neck is carved from a single piece of bamboo where the string is attached from gourd to tuning peg. Citations: Bibliography: Miner, Allyn 1999 – South Asia: The Indian Subcontinent. Routledge. p. 343. Retrieved 2014-09-07 ; “Ektar”. Oxford Music Online ; “Ektara”. Musical Instruments Archives ; Lillian Henry. “What is Kirtan Music”. Entertainment Scene 360. Archived from the original on 2014-07-01. “Baul Songs – From Ektara to Fusion Music”. INdo-Asian News Service ; “Kirtan”. ; “Stringed Instruments”. Gandharva Loka ;


Name: Quijongo.
Type: Chordophones > Bows > Idiochords > Percussive.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 311.121.21
Country: Nicaragua, Costa Rica & El Salvador.
Region: Central America.

Description: The quijongo is a type of struck percussive musical bow used by the indigenous peoples of Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador. The quijongo is a type of musical bow used by the indigenous peoples of Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In some countries, such as El Salvador, it is known as the carimba. It was probably used by the indigenous Chorotega people of Nicoya.

Construction: The quijongo consists of a bow measuring 140 cm in length, made of flexible wood with a string, usually wire stretched between its ends. At a point a third of the way between its ends, a jicara or calabaza gourd is affixed to serve as a resonator. Sound is created by striking the string with a stick, and the tone can be modulated by covering and uncovering the sound hole in the resonator with the fingers, changing the tone by a fourth or sixth. Occasionally, it is amplified by placing the base of the bow on a separate box.

Citations: Bibliography: Native American Stringed Musical Instruments by Daniel Brinton. In The American antiquarian and oriental journal By Stephen Denison Peet Jameson & Morse, 1897 v. 19, pg 19 ; Youtube Demonstration of Quijongo ] ;


Name: Lesiba.
Type: Chordophones > Bows > Idiochords > Braced > Mouth.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 311.121.222
Country: South Africa.
Region: Africa.

Description: The lesiba is the national instrument of the Basotho, a southern African people, now located primarily in South Africa and Lesotho and the Khoikhoi people of South Africa. The lesiba is played mostly by herdsmen and herdboys to give signals and instructions to their cattle and almost as much, for their own entertainment.

Though a very few people alive today play this instrument. The harsh birdlike sounds of the instrument are so well recognized among the Sotho that it is used on Lesotho Radio to signal the start of the news broadcast.

Etymology: The word lesiba is Tswana for feather, the term is adopted in Sotho. It is also called gora or goura [in Khoisan, for a type of bird. This term has also been adapted by the Xhosa and Zulu] are members of a class of “unbraced mouth-resonated bow’s”.

Playing Techniques: Holding both hands around the quill, positioned without touching just inside the lips, the player sharply inhales or exhales against it, creating vibration in the string. This “produces a powerful buzzing sound,” usually in short notes on a small, limited scale.

Inhalation excites the harmonics of the string, while exhalation is most often accompanied by a throaty grunt. Except in players with strong breath, and may be accompanied by humming. Vocalizations are created by the musician performing the lesiba for effect. The harmonics used are primarily the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and twelfth.

Acoustics: According to Borrow in 1806, the instrument sounds “like the faint murmurs of distance music that comes over the ear. Without any distinction of notes. Barnard in 1910 noted the loudness of the instrument, while Alberti in 1810 compared the sounds to the “tones of the so-called Hunting-horn,” presumably a reference to the shared use of the harmonic series.

According to Kirby in 1934, “the tone is, very pleasant when well produced, partaking of the qualities of both string and wind, reminding one of the Aeolian harp; and it can be varied in power from a faint whisper to a strong, vibrant sound, the air column of the mouth and throat acting as a resonator”.

Construction: Having a flattened quill attached to a long string, the string is stretched over a hard stick. Acting as the main source of Vibration. At the other end, in some areas, is a coconut shell resonator, with a tension noose wrapped around the string to adjust the pitch. The lesibas construction is unique: “no other class of stringed-wind instrument has been found anywhere else in the world.

Citations: Bibliography: Percival Kirby 2009 – “The Gora, a Stringed-wind Instrument” The World of South African Music: A Reader, p.36.  Lucia, Christine; ed. Cambridge. ISBN 1904303366 ; Coplan, David B. 1994 – In the Time of Cannibals: The Word Music of South Africa’s Basotho Migrants, p. 203. University of Chicago ISBN 9780226115740 ;


Name: Ahardin.
Type: Chordophones > Bows > Idiochords > Mono.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 311.121.222
Country: Niger & Mali
Region: Sahel & West Africa.

Description: The Ahardin is a musical bow played by southern Tuaregs consists of a curved branch held with a twisted rope of raw leather or bark of acacia. Serving as a sound box, a reversed calabash is placed on the curved part of the bow on the ground.

Similarly the ahardant, feminine of ahardin, is also the name of a plucked string instrument, a kind of lute played throughout the region of the Niger River loop, by “court craftsmen” in the Tuaregs and by griots in the Songhai.

Playing Techniques: To hold the whole, the player presses her knee on the container. With the fingers of the left hand, as with the imzad, she defines the melody, while with the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, she grip the string with a regular gesture vibrate. At present, the ahardin, an instrument whose manufacture is easily improvised, is considered above all as a game played by girls.

Citations: Bibliography: Claudot-Hawad, H. 1986. “Ahardin”. Encyclopédie berbère. 3 -Ahaggar – Alī ben Ghaniya. Aix-en-Provence: Edisud. pp. 311–312 ;


Name: Bobre.
Type: Chordophones > Bows > Idiochords > Percussive.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 311.121.21
Country: Mauritius & Reunion Islands.
Region: Indian Ocean.

Description: The bobre is a musical bow that is a traditional musical bow in Mauritius and the Réunion Islands. This bow was used particularly in the traditional genres of Sega and Maloya. Although no longer used in Mauritian Sega it is still played in Reunion Islands.

Playing Techniques: It is held close to body of the musician who holds bow in his left hand. The musician plays the bow by striking the string with a small stick that is held in the right hand.

Construction: Similar to the berimbau of Brazil in both playing techniques and construction. It is a single stringer bow that has a calabash or gourd attached near the centre of the bow.

Citations: Bibliography: K. Lee, Jacques 1990 – Sega: the Mauritian folk dance ; Indiana University. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-9511296-1-6. Retrieved 2009-07-31 ; James Porter; Timothy Rice ; Chris Goertzen 1999 ; The Garland encyclopedia of world music. Indiana University: Taylor & Francis. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-8240-4946-1. Retrieved 2009-07-31 ;


Name: Malunga.
Type: Chordophones > Bows > Idiochords > Percussive.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 311.121.21
Country: India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The Malunga is a single stringed musical bow that is played by the Siddi people of India. The Siddi people are the descendants of East African immigrants. This instrument produces two tones an octave apart.

Playing Techniques: This instrument produces two tones an octave apart. The knuckle of the hand supporting the instrument an also maybe pressed against the string to vary the pitch. Similar to the berimbau of Brazil it is struck with a stick and held in a similar manner during playing. A rattle called the Mai Misra is placed along the string it also varies the pitch. Although it is becoming scarce the malunga one that can still be encountered in Siddi music.

Construction: The malunga is constructed from a single solid core bamboo and the string is made of three twisted strands of gut. The gourd resonator is made from a coconut shell and is a mobile part of the instrument. The gourd resonator amplifies the instrument when it is played.

Citations: Bibliography: Projeto Sidi Malunga ISBN 1-880519-28-3 ; Websites: