Panche baja

The Panche baja (Nepali: पञ्चे बाजा, "five musical instruments") is a set of five traditional Nepali musical instruments that are played during holy ceremonies, especially marriages. Panche bajas are usually played by the Damai (Miji) and the Gaine castes in the Hindu tradition.[1]

The first part of the term is also transliterated pance, panchai, or pancai; the latter also as baaja.


The panche baja includes the jhyali (cymbals), tyamko (small kettledrum) or dholak (drums), damaha (large kettledrum), narsiha (a long, S-shaped trumpet), shehnai (a folk oboe),[2] and karnal (a wide-mouthed, straight trumpet with a bell that resembles the datura flower).[3] Other renderings give the ensemble as: shehnai, jhyali, dholki, tyamko, and damaha.[4] These are very important coponents of panche baja. Other than that, there is not a fixed rule on how much instruments should panche baja contain.


  1. Hao Huang (1999). Music in the 20th century. M.E. Sharp. p. 598. ISBN 978-0-7656-8012-9. Retrieved 24 March 2012.. In Nepal, musicians belong to two untouchable castes (groups of the lowest class in India, whom members of the four main castes were once forbidden to touch), the Damai and the Gaine. The ensembles are known as panche baja
  2. http://yeahnepalcom/instruments-used-in-panche-baja/
  3. - Panche baja comprises Sanahai, Jhyali, Tyamko, Damaha and Dholaki. Damais (a particular caste) traditionally from ancient time have used Panche baja in marriage, festivals and local fairs joyfully

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