- Alastair Dick
- and Jean During
Plucked board zither with a simple keyboard of India, Pakistan, and Iranian Baluchistan; it is also known as bānjo, benju, or māndolīn. It was invented in Japan during the Taishō era as the Taishō-goto and was soon imported to South Asia (probably to Bombay, for it is especially common between there and Karachi). The bulbultarang (‘caprice of the nightingale’) has a pair of main strings and extra drone strings made of steel; they are plucked with a small plectrum in fast strumming style. The strings are stopped by metal tangents which rise to stop the string when the typewriter-style keys, arranged chromatically in two octaves, are depressed. The stopping mechanism is much the same as that of the clavichord. The Baluchi bānjois a metre long and has six strings; the drones are tuned to tonic and dominant on either side of the paired melody strings (C–G–G/G–G–C). The instrument is used mainly in the popular Muslim devotional music ...