Type: Membranophones > Drums > Barrel.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 211.22
Country: Southern Bihar, India.
Region: South Asia.
Description:The rabega is a double-sided barrel drum, it is found among the Munda and related Indigenous groups in Southern Bihar, India. The rabega is usually associated with the akrȧ [dancing ground] and gitiyora [youth dormitory].
Today the rabega is primarily used in the percussion ensemble accompanying outdoor communal dancing. Less often for seated small group singing. In the dancing ground the rabega is often accompanied by the dholki, nagara [kettle drums] and the cymbals cua or manjira.
Playing Techniques: The rabega is usually played by a man who would hang his drum from a strap at his left side, with the larger head facing forward. He plays only the large head with two thin bamboo sticks.
The rabega drummer plays the karah, a series of fast, equal strokes, usually four or eight to a beat, alternating with fast rolls. He helps keep the beat although he fills in more complex patterns of the other drummers. The rhythmic patterns played on the rabega are not vocalized by the player. The rabega drummer has flexibility to vary the rhythms unlike other drummers in the ensemble.
Construction: The canonical body is about 46 cm in length from head to head. The smaller head is roughly a half and two-thirds the size of the larger. The drum is constructed much like the dholak but differs in shape size, playing position and musical function.
Citations: Bibliography: Hoffman and A. Van Emelen: Encyclopedia Mundarica, Patna, 1938-05. v/1-13, P. 4130 ; O. Prasad: Munda: Music and Dance diss. Ranch U. 1971, page 72 ; Carol M. Babiracki, Stanley Sadie ~ New Grove Dictionary Of Music, Vol. 3 Book P to Z 183 Websites: