The Drum and the Cymbals



These two instruments, most frequently found in Tibetan religious music, are also widely used in the musical repertoire of Tibetan drama known as “Achey Lhamo” (often mistakenly translated as “Opera”).



Almost always accompanied by cymbals (boukshel), the drum (rnga) rhythms the plays, punctuating the scenes, underscoring the actors’ voices, and can even be the connection between two acts.

But it also gives the tempo for certain fast-paced dances, in which case the drums are propped up at the height of the dancer’s waist, and the latter beats out the rhythm with the help of two short sticks.