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Drangyen (lhamo yangchenma)

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Original price $450.00
Current price $350.00

Drangyen (lhamo yangchenma)

The drangyen, or Bhutanese lute, is the oldest and most famous instrument from Bhutan. With its distinctive chusin shaped head (a sea monster designed to scare away any evil spirits attracted to its beautiful music), meticulously hand-carved body, and haunting, softly melodious sound, the drangyen embodies the unique musical tradition of Bhutan. Literally, its name means “hear the melody” (dra means “melody” and ngyen means “listen”). Many consider this fret-less instrument a difficult one to master.

Instruments — Music of Bhutan Research Centre

Playing the instrument

Drangyen is considered a spiritual musical instrument held by the goddess Lhamo Yangchenma. The goddess of melody can be found holding the instrument and she is worshipped as the divine power of ritual chants and sacrificial fire who facilitates communication with gods. 

Before playing, the musician offers payers to Lhamo Yanghenma and follows proper posture, holding the instrument raised above the arms.