Drangyen (Lhamo Yangchenma), Bhutanese Lute
- About the Artisan
Dramnyen is a 7 stringed Bhutanese lute belonging to the plucked category of instruments. With a long neck and two waists, it’s the oldest and the most famous of all instruments in Bhutan. It does not have frets.
It is made from wood, leather and yak or ox bone. A typical dramnyen is approximately 3-4 feet in length. It is played with a plectrum of triangular bone or wood.
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.
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.
Musical lessons by Kheng Sonam Dorji of Music of Bhutan Foundation
- Suitable for all sizes of hands
- Suitable for beginners
- New Design with Guitar tuner.
- FREE: Wooden Case, One extra pick.
The instruments are made by local craftsmen. The craftsmen are trained to carve this beautiful instrument from wood and then polished it. The finished work is painted with beautiful motifs and floral patterns. The top is attached with the head of Dragon and then the strings are attached. The final part of the instrument construction is the insertion of the tuning fork before it is ready to play.