Music of Bhutan

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Music of Bhutan has traditional genres such as zhungdra and boedra [1] (http://www.uib.no/people/hgajj/bhutan.html). Bhutanese musicians include Jigme Drukpa, also for being the first Bhutanese musicologist.

Contents

Classical and folk music

Bhutan was first united in the 17th century, during the reign of Zhabdrung Ngawang' Namgyal (1594-1652); the same period saw a great blossoming of folk music and dance. Instruments of this time included the yangchin (dulcimer), lim (flute), dranyen (lute) and pi-wang (fiddle).

The influence of Drukpa Buddhism and Buddhist music on Bhutanese culture is important. Many folk songs and chanting stlyes are derived from Drukpa music [2] (http://www.abc.net.au/rn/relig/rhythm/stories/s1360626.htm).

Folk instruments

  • Chiwang
  • Dramnyen: similar to a large, three-stringed rebec [3] (http://www.kuenselonline.com/article.php?sid=2420&KUENSELONLINE_PHPSESSID=16434cd8f627f26765f48164f0dcba74)

Popular music

Bhutanese popular music history began with the Bhutan Broadcasting Service, which was followed by the band Tashi Nyencha, who established the first recording studio in Thimphu in 1991. Prior to this period, Bhutanese people primarily listen to filmi and other kinds of Indian pop music. Rigsar is the dominant style of Bhutanese popular music, dand dates back to the late 1960s [4] (http://www.kuenselonline.com/article.php?sid=2420&KUENSELONLINE_PHPSESSID=16434cd8f627f26765f48164f0dcba74). The first major music star was Shera Lhendup, whose career began after the 1981 hit "Nga khatsa jo si lam kha lu".

By the end of the 1980s, rigsar was no longer so popular, until the arrival of Norling Drayang. Since Drayang, popular Bhutanese music has primarily been the genre rigsar, a fusion of elements from Western pop, Indian and Tibetan music. The best-selling album in Bhutanese history was New Waves (1996) by Suresh Moktan, who later denounced rigsar, and the album, after learning Indian classical music [5] (http://www.inwent.org/v-ez/lis/bhutan/musik.htm). Unlike many countries, Bhutanese folk music is almost never used in popular music. Other rigsar musicians include Neten Dorji.

The traditional dranyen, a kind of folk guitar, has been updated into the rigsar dranyen for use in popular music. The rigsar dranyen has 15 strings, two bridges and an extra set of tuning keys [6] (http://www.raonline.ch/pages/bt/visin/bt_music01a.html).

List of musicians

Music institutions

There is a Bhutanese Royal Academy of Performing Arts (RAPA).

References

  • [7] (http://www.uib.no/people/hgajj/bhutan.html)
  • [8] (http://www.abc.net.au/rn/relig/rhythm/stories/s1360626.htm)
  • [9] (http://www.kuenselonline.com/article.php?sid=2420&KUENSELONLINE_PHPSESSID=16434cd8f627f26765f48164f0dcba74)
  • [10] (http://www.raonline.ch/pages/bt/visin/bt_music01a.html)
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