The Beauty of Murchunga

Kirati people practice murchunga in their special rites, rituals, and festivals

5, Dec 2022 |

Murchunga, a traditional Nepalese musical instrument, is one of the oldest musical instruments in the world.

Murchunga is one of the ancient musical instruments in the world, originating from Nepal. They are the most extensive and traditional harps in the nation. Due to the tongue’s excellent flexibility and the instrument’s tiny size, you may play incredibly quick rhythms while effortlessly modifying sounds with your tongue and breath. 

Likewise, placing it correctly in the mouth is smoother and easier. It can produce low noises and occasionally guttural sounds due to its big slitter and extremely flexible tongue. 

According to musicology, a jaw harp is a plucked idiophone and bourdon instrument. According to Bourdon, a constant fundamental tone may be heard that serves as the foundation for many overtones. More harmonics will be audible with better jaw harps. A resonator is utilised, which is the human mouth and throat. Various rhythms and melodies are produced by adjusting the mouth’s shape or moving the player’s tongue, as well as using different breathing methods.

Usually, Kirati people practice murchunga in their special rites, rituals, and festivals.  It is played by plucking its metal wire reed with the forefinger between your teeth. Its notes and the rhythms of inhaling and exhaling can adjust loudness.

Murchunga can be found in different metals like brass, bronze, white metal, copper, silver etc. It has various shapes and sizes. The most commonly used Murchunga are the medium ones made up of brass with iron string. 

Murchunga is produced in large quantities and sold in conventional music instrument stores and online. Despite being widely accessible, relatively few individuals are skilled at playing it. A few younger people emphasise it, so it doesn’t go extinct, and the older generation of Mongolian tribal members can play it fluently. 

(Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, Istock)

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