In this video Tribecastan’s Jeff Green talks about and plays the Ravanhattha, a folk instrument from Rajasthan, India. For more music and info, please visit us on the web at www.tribecastan.tv
The Rawanhatta consists of half a coconut shell resonator covered with membrane, bound to it with the help of cotton cords, a two feet long bamboo stick fixed to the resonator with two main strings, one of horse tail and other of steel. In addition to these are sympathetic steel strings varying between three to thirteen, passing over a bridge and than directly to the wooden pegs fixed to the sides of the stick. It is played with a curved bow of horse tail hair drawn across the strings with rhythmic jerks, the small brass bells attached to it providing the jingling stress on the beats. It is held by the left hand, the resonator resting on the left side of the chest. The dexterity lies in playing each successive note, which is clear, detached and synchronizing with singing, changing the rhythm and displacing the normal beats and accents, whenever it is required, depending upon the musical situation.
It is used by religious singers called Bhopa to accompany the epic tales of Pabuji, a fourteenth century hero. The instrument itself is made by these tribal people.