The katho (a.k.a. khamak, khomok, gub-gubi, anand lahari or gholtong) is a folk instrument found in various places in India. It is a most unusual instrument with an even more peculiar sound. This instrument is basically a small drum. however it is penetrated with a small string or cord that is attached to a handle. This handle is used to pull the string tight. The string is then plucked while the force exerted on the handle is used to change the pitch.

It is curious how broadly this instrument is dispersed across India. But there are small differences in construction. In the North-East part of India (i.e., Bengal), the chord is played while it passes through the drum shell; This is known as the khamak or khomok. However in Maharashtra it is played with the cord pulled from the outside; this is known as the katho also the Khamak is a string instrument close to ektara, originating in India, common in folk music of Bengal, Orissa and North East India, especially Baulgaan. It is a one-headed drum with a string attached to it which is plucked. The only difference from ektara is that no bamboo is used to stretch the string, which is held by one hand, while being plucked by another.

Characteristics and use
The khamak consists of three basico parts. A bowl which is often made out of wood is connected by several strings to another, smaller piece (also usually made out of wood). The bowl is held under the arm holding the smaller piece in the hand of same arm. Finally, the string are plucked by the other hand while adjusting the tension of strings creating the desired sound. It is generally used in Bengali boul (folk) songs. It is one of the most ancient string instruments in eastern India.


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