Gopi Jantra or Ananda Lahri is a most peculiar instrument
used for swinging rhythmic patterns with various vibrations
produced by strokes on a string fixed on the parchment at
the base. It produces vibrations and sound effects in drone
by pressing of fingers on the bamboo body fixed on gourd shell.
Similar is the instrument named as Khamak or Gubguba which
does not contain the bamboo top, instead the string tied to
a tuning peg on the upper end is held by hand the sTRing is
plucked when strokes are produced on it. It gives similar
resonating effect of rhythm. The two are most useful instruments
of the Bauls.
Ektara, the one-stringed popular instrument of different
size made of gourd-rind or wood with one side open-some-what
fork shaped or Vina-type, produces a drone of the base-note
The Bauls of the western bank of the Hoogly river play Banya
by one hand suggestively. This scene is considered to be of
a relatively later origin. They tie it with the waist-line
and dance softly for expression of rhythmical feeling contained
in the songs, rhythm being on Banya.
With every percussion instrument, as already mentioned, use
of cymbals of different sizes (named Kat-kartal, Jhanjhar,
Kansar, Mandira, Gini) is a common practice for providing
accompaniment. On the whole, folk music (excepting the original
Bhatiali and some indoor items and narratives) is incomplete
without an accompaniment of instrument for Tal.
In most places the tunes are even neglected because people
are primarily interested in the zest of the rhythm. Thus the
usage of accompanying string-instrument like Dotara and other
types was devised in course of the development of the sense
of melody. Dotara is made of a single wood with a hollow that
is covered by a skin (maybe, the skin of an iguana) and a
bridge is placed on it, over which four strings run from the
top-peg to the bottom. It is played with a plectrum at the
bottom and strummed on the extended-flat by the left-finger-tips.
The quivering tonic note along with stroke on 3rd or 4th or
5th note is produced along with rhythmic-patterns. This instrument
must have originated in the eastern part of East Bengal and
and must have later been carried to North Bengal.
Sarinda, the instrument facing extinction now, is an indigenous
imitation of Sarangi-cum-Violin and is played with a bow made
of horse-tail hair. It is a short sized instrument made of
a single wood, its belly being hollowed and covered partially
by a skin. The three strings of Sarinda with three notes,
tied to the top-keys over the extended thin-flat upwards and
placed on a bridge down, are played at a high pitch.