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date: 16 November 2019


  • Alastair Dick


Struck idiochord tube zither or string drum of Assam, northeast India. It is made of an internode of thick bamboo, cut beyond the nodes, which are left whole. The top surface is shaved somewhat flat, leaving two epidermal strings still attached at their ends and raised and tensioned by bamboo slips. A further flatter and wider piece is put under the strings near the middle, eccentrically, giving perhaps four playing areas instead of two. A soundhole is excised near the middle and the instrument is beaten with a light stick. The gintang is also called bādung dungā. A somewhat different instrument is the kā chap chap, probably of the Khasis; Sachs (1914) referred to a tube zither of the Lushei-Kuki people.

Although the idiochord tube zithers of the north-eastern areas, together with the raft zither, display a common Southeast Asian cultural pattern, they can also be found in South Asia proper; they chiefly appear among the peoples of the east-central tribal belt, including the ...

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