The Morchang is the name of the Indian variety of the ancient and beautiful instrument known around the globe as the Mouth Harp. There are at least 50 different varieties of Mouth harp found worldwide, each with their own tone and timbre but there is a Universal sound of Mouth harp that is distinguishable by its other-worldliness. Here are some examples of different styles and sounds of Indian Morchang.
Chidananda is a talented young Morchang player from Bangalore, India. He started playing 6 years ago and his Morchang Gurus (teachers) are Vidwan G.Guruprasanna a verstile Khanjira(frame drum) Artist and Vidwan Anoor R.Ananthakrishna Sharma, (renowned Mridangam Artist). Here is a video of his playing and an article he for wrote us about Morchang and his perspectives on the instrument:-
Morching is a South Indian classical music instrument which is world renowned as Jews Harp (Mouth Harp) and called by different names at different places all over the world.
In India its called as Morching,morchang,morsing etc…
Its an ancient and tiny Instrument which is played with the help of our jaws,various sounds are produced through it by changing the position of our tongue. When we look back to its history its said to be bought to india through barter system. History says that it was introduced in india during king Ashokas period and Buddhist monks used this instrument as bell to indicate the commencement of some events.
This tiny Instrument is widely used in india for different forms of music at different places. Mainly its been used in South Indian Carnatic Classical Music as an accompanying instrument along with The Mridangam.
As an accompanying instrument it adds more beauty to the percussion ensembles and concerts. In Rajsthan it is used as a folk Instrument and it sounds good when played with Dholak
This instrument seems to be small but has great power in it, the sound produced by it creates curiosity and it can attract any man. The Divine Morching Instrument made me so much attracted towards it, that it made me want to learn and play.
- Chidananda Ananda
Here is a video clip of Morchang playing from Sindhi region :-
Morchang is such a popular instrument that there is even a fusion label called “Morchang Records” who have spent the past few years focussing on recording and videoing Rajasthani folk and folk fusion music. Check out this video and be sure to visit their channel as they have hundreds of fantastic videos uploaded!
An incredible selection of Mouth Harps from around the world can be bought at this incredible online store :-