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Looking back at some ancient musical instruments which have gone extinct

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In the times when music applications are launched every other day, sustaining ancient musical instruments is a real task. Few instruments survive the changing time, but there have been some unfortunate ones that couldn’t stand the test of time. Come to think of it, Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest, piano will, probably, top the list. Sadly, few instruments fell prey to technological advances. Considering the immense contribution to our musical heritage, let us look back on such melodic instruments that have all but gone extinct.In the times when music applications are launched every other day, sustaining ancient musical instruments is a real task. Few instruments survive the changing time, but there have been some unfortunate ones that couldn’t stand the test of time. Come to think of it, Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest, piano will, probably, top the list. Sadly, few instruments fell prey to technological advances. Considering the immense contribution to our musical heritage, let us look back on such melodic instruments that have all but gone extinct.

1. Mayuri – Sixteen frets, four melody strings, and fifteen sympathetic strings combine to form this beautiful peacock-shaped bowed instrument that was popular in the Indian courts of the 19th century. Associated with Saraswati, the goddess of music, this instrument has real peacock bill and feathers.

Mayuri

 

2. Pena – Made of a slender Bamboo rod attached to a dry coconut shell which is made in the shape of a drum, this ancient musical instrument from Manipur is the source and origin of all the tunes of various folk songs prevalent in Manipur.

PENA

 

3. Surbahar – Our very own Bass Sitar which is a plucked instrument used in the classical music of North India, is basically a Sitar with a lower tone. Depending on the instrument’s size, it is usually pitched two to five whole steps below the standard sitar, but as Indian classical music has no concept of absolute pitch, this may vary.

surbhar

 

4. Nagfani – Made of brass tube with a serpent stylized head, it is commonly associated with the Sadhus. Its name literally means “snake hood” which was found around Gujarat and Rajasthan.

nagfani

 

5. Morchang – Mainly used in Rajasthan, this wind percussion is a nice and tiny rhythmic musical instrument made of wrought iron. The instrument consists of a metal ring and metal tongue on the middle. It has a special capacity to make many patterns of rhythm and sounds when played using the mouth and left hand.

Morchang

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Music Plus Team

Author: Music Plus Team

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