The ransingha or ransinga is a type of primitive trumpet made of copper or copper alloys, used in both India and Nepal. The instrument is made of two metal curves, joined together to form an "S" shape.[1] It may also be reassembled to form a crescent.[2]

Ransingha horn assembled in the S shape. Can also be fitted into C shape.

It is part of a group of curved-tube instruments that include the ransingha, the narsinga and the sringa. It may also be related to the laawaa and Tibetan dungchen, both straight tubular copper horns.

Alternate namesEdit

The instrument's name has been variously spelled narsinga, ransingha, ramsinga, and srnga.

Srnga is Sanscrit for horn and used in North India and Nepal. Its modern forms include "Sig", "Siga,", and "Singha". The term was historically used for a wide variety shapes and sizes of horns, including straight horns, and horns made from water buffalo horns with mouthpieces made from ox horns.[3]


India, 1799. The Ramsinga, as depicted in the book Les Hindoûs (Volume II), by the Flemish artist Frans Balthazar Solvyns.

The ramsinga is a pronunciation specific to India. It uses four pipes of very thin metal which fit one within the other. It is mentioned in Emilio Salgari's works such as The Mystery of the Black Jungle (1895), where it is associated with the thugee cult.

In Chapter 62 of Foucault's Pendulum (1988) the Ramsinga is also mentioned, being played by a devotee of a druidic sect .


Played historically in C shape in Nepa by Damai caste musicians in groups such as the damai baja. This form used in Nepal, Himachal Pradesh and southern Bihar.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Manorma Sharma (1 January 1998). Tribal melodies of Himachal Pradesh: Lahaul Valley. APH Publishing. pp. 64–. ISBN 978-81-7024-942-9. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  2. ^ Nikolova, Ivanka; Davey, Laura; Dean, Geoffrey, eds. (2000). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Musical Instruments. Cologne: Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. p. 94.
  3. ^ Alastair Dick (1984). "Śrnga". In Sadie, Stanley (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. p. 442. Volume 3.
  4. ^ Carol M Babiracki; Mireille Helffer (1984). "Narsīga". In Sadie, Stanley (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. p. 749. Volume 2.

External linksEdit