Music is the integral part of Nepalese festivities. The sound of many-toned drums, blasting trumpets and clashing cymbals accompany the celebration of festivities. There are numerous indigenous musical instruments, some very unique to Nepal. Some of these instruments are popular throughout the country, while some are played only locally or on specific occasions. The Sarangi, or a small chordophone which is played by running a bow over the strings, is made and played by the Gandharvas or Gaines, who are the traditional folk singers of western Nepal. Air or wind blown instruments (aerophones) come in various shapes, sizes and sound. The flute is a popular instrument played with the mouth. The Sanahi or Panchey Baja produces a very moving sound and is played during weddings. The Karnal is another air blown instrument that produces a piercing powerful sound. The Narsingha, Ponga an Muhali are other types of instruments which are played during religious and social functions.
Among the membranphones, the Damphu is a double-sided disk shaped drum, topped with leather and with a long wooden handle. It is played by striking the leather face with the fingers and palm. The Dhol or Dholak is a double-headed drum widely used in the Terai Region of Nepal during public fairs and festivals. Dhimey is a double-headed cylindrical drum widely used with a big wooden body. Its right side is beaten with a light winded cane and the left with the hand of the player. It is widely used by the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley. The Mridanga is a double-headed drum with a heavy wooden body. It produces a gentle and pleasant sound. The Madal is the most popular drum. Made of leather with a wooden body, it largely accompanies folk music and dances in the hills.