Bulbul Tarang

Bulbul Tarang Bulbul tarang, also known as the "banjo", is a com­mon instru­ment in India. The name bulbul tarang literally trans­lates to "waves of nightin­gales". It is made of a num­ber of strings pas­sing over what resembles a finger board. How­ever, instead of di­rec­tly finger­ing the keys, they are pressed with a series of keys like a piano. Sometimes the keys are si­mi­lar to a piano keyboard, but more often they resemble type­writer keys.

The origin of the bulbul tarang is inter­est­ing. It is an In­dian version of the Japan­ese taisho koto. The first taisho koto was built by Goro Morita in 1912 in Nogoya Japan. The term taisho refers to the se­cond former Japan­ese emperor; while the term koto refers to it be­ing a stringed instrument. The taisho koto be­came a very pop­ular instru­ment in Japan; by 1929 it is es­ti­ma­ted that over quar­ter of a million units were sold. Although it is es­tab­lished that the bulbul tarang is der­ived from the taisho koto, the ob­vious ques­tion is "what was the si­tua­tion before that?" There is great rea­son to believe that the taisho koto is a technical ex­ten­sion of the var­ious pianolins, pianettes, and hurdy gurdies, that were pop­ular in the 19th cen­tury.

Tuning the bulbul tarang is very easy, how­ever we must not forget that there are innumer­able variations in size, num­ber of strings, gauge of strings, etc. There­fore, we will just go over the ge­ne­ral prin­ciples and you can work out the de­tails.