Text Box:    BIN

  Class : Chordophone

               Playing  Bin is similar to playing of violin. But mostly it is used as a solo lead instrument.

        

                   Assamese Bin is made of resources easily available locally. The hollow body on the Bin is made of a coconut shell (broken into half) . Sometimes wooden or earthen hollows are also used. The open side of the hollow is covered with the skin of  Monitor Lizard or Indian Bullfrog  (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus).  Noticeably, no string or glue is used to fix the skin to the shell. According to Bin makers, they fit the raw skin to the shell carefully and let it dry it in sunshine together, and the skin fits firmly to the shell by itself, once dried. A 1.5 to 2 feet piece of wood (Sometimes bamboo too) is fitted to the Shell, which forms the Neck of the Bin. The other end of the Neck is bored to form the headstock, which facilitate fitting of a tuning peg. One end of a String, made of Muga ( An Assamese Silk) fiber, is attached to the lower part of the Shell , and the other to the peg. To lift the string from the shell, a wooden bridge proper size is inserted under it. The peg is used to tune the instrument.

 

           Like the bow of a violin, a simple bamboo bow is used to play the Bin, whichis called  ‘Raponi’ . The hair from the tail of a horse is fitted to the Raponi.

 

           Traditionally there should be only one String in Bin, however, some Folk artists are found modifying the Bin with two or more strings.

 

                Though Bin has become quite rare now a days, it has been an indispensable part of Bihu originally. It is believed that Bin was played in Bihu, before introduction of Cymball, Dhol and Pepa, that is, during times of development of Bihu to a full flagged form. But later on, the Boiragis started using Bin more often than Bihuwas. Still in a few places of Assam, Bin is used in Bihu Husari. But the vagabond Bin playing Boiragis, and their Mystic Blues has become an unique and integral part of Assamese culture. Unfortunately, owing to dramatic change in life style of the people in the later part of the last century, the Boiragis also started disappearing. Now, only the professional folk artists are trying to keep the memory alive.

                  Bin is one of the oldest traditional musical instruments of Assam. It is one of the Eight musical instruments used in Bihu. Apart from Bihu, Boiragi’s (vagabond singing monks) also use been with their mystical songs. Bin has only one string, and somewhat closer to violin. Though the names are sound similar, the Veena, of Indian Classical Music is completely different from Assamese Bin.

 

             Bin is also played along with ‘ Kuxan gaan’ a folk music of the Goalpara region of Assam, but the call is ‘Bena’ in Goalporia dialect.

 

 

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 1.  Oxomor Badyajantra – Sri Dharmeswar Dowara – Bani Prakash

 

 

 

 

Sri Joykanta Gondhiya – Digboi

Sri Dwijen Gogoi –Serekapar – Sibasgar

Sri Kiron Abhaypuria - Dibrugarh

 The hollow of the Bin is covered with Frog Skin