Newāh Instruments, Championed by a Foreigner


A man playing Dhime [/ðɪ́mɛ́/], Ka:khin [/k∂:kɪ́ŋ/], Nāya khin [/nájə́ kɪ́ŋ/], and Nagarā [/nə́gə́rá/] in this video is a German Professor, Dr. Gert-Matthias Wegner who is the founder and director of the Department of Music in Kathmandu University. He is a silver-tongued man of German, English, Hindi, Nepali and Nepal Bhāshā (Newāri) languages. He also possesses reading knowledge of French, Italian, Swedish, and Sanskrit. This man just amazes me with his language skills and music creativity. He has been, it seems, everywhere doing research on music in Indian sub-continent.

He has also published several books and journals on music as a part of his job. His has finished his research project on Newāh music and there lot many writings that worth mentioning. However, ‘The ‘Language’ of the Newar Drums’, in: British Journal of Ethnomusicology 2004 and Newar Music Dictionary (with U. Kovler and I. Shresthacharya) and The Drums of Bhaktapur: Newar Music in Ritual and Urban Space are few of them.

Dr. Wegner playing Dhime and Ka:khin in the Russian Theater, Berlin, July 27, 2008.

Dr. Wegner playing Nāya khin and Nagarā.

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