Tha Langa and Manganiar are communities of western Rajasthan which have for long practised music professionally for their living. The Langas are possibly descended from drummers in the militias of chieftains who branched off into civil work. Tha Manganiars were employed as musicians in the smaller courts before they found the patronage of the Meghawal community as singers at domestic life-cycle ceremonies. The principal feature of the music of the Langas and Manganiars is an order of ragas and talas modelled after and named as in Hindustani music but independent of the Hindustani code in performance. Regional elements colour the music strongly. It has a rich repertoire of songs of varied content. The bowed Sarangi and Kamaicha are the chief melodic accompaniments and castanets called Khartal provide the rhythm.
Langa literally means 'song giver'. An accomplished group of poets, singers, and musicians from the Barmer district of Rajasthan, the Langas seem to have converted from Hinduism to Islam in the 17th century. Traditionally, Sufi influences prevented them from using percussion instruments, however, the Langas are versatile players of the Sindhi Sarangi and the Algoza( double flute), which accompany and echo their formidable and magical voices. They perform at events like births, and weddings, exclusively for their patrons ( Yajman), who are cattle breeders, farmers, and landowners. The Langa musicians are regarded by their patrons as kings.
"The 'Sindhi Sarangi' used by the Langas, is made up of four main wires, with more than twenty vibrating sympathetic strings which help to create its distinctive haunting tones. The bowing of these instruments is a skilful exercise, often supported by the sound of the 'ghungroos' or ankle bells that are tied to the bow to make the beat more prominent. The word 'Manganiyar' means those who asks for alms. On different occasions they would go to patron's house and sing appropriate songs and in turn would be rewarded. The Manganiyar community is divided into two parts, one whose patrons are Hindus and the other who have Muslim patrons. The Hindu patrons mostly belong to Bhati and Rathore communities of Rajputs , the Muslims patrons are Sindhi Muslims. Even though the Manganiyars are Sunni Muslims by birth, their lifestyle and the way of dressing up reflect the Hindu or the 'Ganga-Jamana' culture. They present a perfect example of communal bonhomie as for generations they have been closely linked to both Muslims and Hindu families for their livelihood. Since generations the traditions of singing and composing for occasions is going strong. Singing at their jajmaans house on various occasions is their traditional profession. Describing their jajmaans illustrious history which is full of honor and pride, is their speciality. The descriptions of jajmaan's Genealogy with the support of artists is known as 'Shubhraj'. Such is the ability of these people that they could recite all the names of the last few generations of the jajmaans within the space of a single breath. This also includes the descriptionsof their achievements. In exchange of the above, the manganiyars were rewarded handsomely in the form of grain, wheat, goat, camel, sheep, horse or cash.
Kamaicha is the most significant instrument of Manganiyar community.it is like an ancient niche amongst string instruments which is linked with Manganiyar community since ages. Khamaycha is made up of mango wood. The big, round, hollow part on one end of it is covered with goat skin. This instrument has 17 strings out of which three special strings are made from goat's intestine and the rest if the 14 strings are made up of steel. When they touch those three special strings with their special bow made from horse's hair, it produces some stirring music. Other than Khamaycha the instruments that they play are Dholak and Khartaal. Dholak is a hollow drum tapering at the both ends. Both the ends are covered with leather (animal skin). They use loops of rope to the tighten the animal skin at the two ends. Sometime they use traditional Dhol also. Khartaal produces melodious musical sounds with the special movements of the hands. The four pices of Khartaal are made up of Sheesham wood. When the Manganiyar artist plays Khartaal, it evokes a delightful combination of rhythm and the musical notes.
Khartaal, the word mean Khar and Taal. Khar means hand and Taal means Rhythm. Rhythm of Hands. Khartaal is a kind of castanets, made of teak wood, and the artistes hold them in both hands and perform with tremendous ease. A young man's Karthal play holding it in his hands was a thrill to watch for the way he created complex percussion sounds, while his partner was playing the dholak.
The Dholak is a classical North Indian, Pakisthani and Nepalese hand drum. A dholak may have traditional lacing or turnbuckle tuning. The dholak has a simple membrane and a handle on the right hand side. The left hand membrane has a special coating on the inner surface. This coating is a mixture of tar, clay and sand (dholak masala) which lowers the pitch and provides a well defined tone. The wood used for the membrane is usually made of teak wood, also known as "sheesham" wood. The process of hollowing out the drum is the determination of the sound and quality of the dholak A dholak has 2 heads a small part for the high pitch, and the large part is for the low pitch and it's pitched depending on size and tuning sounding like a bongo in playing mode.
Free Download And Listen Online The Langas and Manganiyars Rajasthani Folk Songs :-
1. Aave Hichki.mp3
2. Banshi Bajavat Dhenu Charavat.mp3
3. Dhun 1.mp3
4. Dhun 2.mp3
5. Gorband Dhun.mp3
7. Mharo Gorband Nakhralo.mp3
Hey aye Nimbooda Aye Nimbooda...
Ho Ho Ho, Dhinak Dhinak Dhin Dha,
Nimbooda Nimbooda, Nimbooda Nimbooda, Arre Kancha Kancha, Chota Chota
Nimbooda Layo Re,
Arre Layedo Layedo Layedo, Nimboo Laye Do,
Ja Khet Se Hariya Nimbooda Layedo....