Text Box: Bähee or Muruli

Class : Aerophone

Air is blown with the lips,  to  the tone hole and the key holes are played, to play Bähee ,   The Bähee , is  hold in a slanting position with reference to the lips of the player. But the second type of Bähee ,   ( similar to clarinet) is played holding it perpendicular to the lips.

 

 

        

                 A long, slender and parallel piece of bamboo inter node is selected for making Bähee. Sometimes to make a longer Bähee ,   a long piece with pierced node is used. One side of the piece is plugged with a lump of cloth , rubber etc. Near the plug, a round hole is bored, with a ‘Bindhona’( A piece of pointed iron rod with a wooden handle,  heated till red to pierce bamboo, wood , cane etc.). Air is blown to this hole to play  Bähee ,   so may be called ‘the Tone Hole’ . On the other side, another six equidistant holes are made almost upto the mid point. These holes are used to produce different notes hence may be called ‘ the Key Holes’ . Sometimes an additional hole is made at the bottom on the Bähee ,   This hole maintains the ‘tune’ of the Bähee .

 

             Length of the Bähee ,    the distance between the plug and the tone hole, diameter, are the variables that decide the tune of the Bähee ,   

 

             Another type of Bähee, is also popular across Assam. One end of this Bähee is cut to a bow shape, and a imilar shaped wooden plug is inserted. A small square shaped hole is made at the top near the end of the plug. No tone hole apart from this is required. Construction of this part   resembles the mouthpiece if a clarinet. Rest of this Bähee ,    is similar to other Bähee s. But, professional Bähee  players hardly seen using this Bähee ,   

 

             Bom- Bäxee ,   used in ‘Manaxa Puja’ in the Goalpara region has an additional part. A small cubicle made of ‘Nal’ in inserted in it. The cubicle holds the air a little longer, hence sound become elongated, hence more soothing.

                 Bähee in primarily an instrument of Vaisnavite culture of Assam, it is extensively used in different forms of Assamese folk. It is one of the principal instruments of Bihu. In the Goalpara region of Assam a  special Bähee called Bom- Bäxee is played during Manaxa Puja Festival. The tribes of Assam such as The Missings, the Rabhas, the Bodos,  use Bähee in their folk music, however differences in construction and size are noticed in those Bähee s. In Deo-dhani dance, Bähee is an important instrument played. In all formats of vaisnavite music, Bhäona,  Raxotsav, Borgeet, etc. Bähee is one of the major instruments . Bähee is a fixed tuned instrument, hence the sizes of Bähee differs according to use.

 

Though Bähee  cant be called  an indigenous traditional instrument of Assam, it is indispensible in the folk culture of this part of the world. As an instrument played but Lord Krishna, Bähee is  considered holy in the Vaisnavite society of Assam. In age old  Vaisnavite literature of Assam, Bähee has frequent mentions. The Bähee   is also known as Muruli, Benu, Bäxee,  etc in different parts of Assam. Almost all the tribes of Assam uses Bähee in their folk music. Bähee is also  accompanied in Bihu. It is believed that Bähee was originated in old China, however, its use in Indian folk music dates to the era beyond history .

© copyright www.anvesha.co.in 2011

  

  1.  Oxomor Badyajantra – Sri Dharmeswar Duwara- Bani Mandir

  2.  Bihure Birina Paat – Jaykanta Gandhiya/ Nomal Gogoi – Prithiviraj Media

 3. Badya Abhigyan : - Dr. Debajit Saikia- Axom Naam Xamaroh Udjapan Xamiti

 

 

 

  1. Dwijen Gogoi – Serekapar – Sibsagar

           2.   Ananda Gogoi- Nitai Puhuri – Sibsagar

Eminent  Bähee player of Assam  Sri Dipak Sarma

A  Local  Bähee maker