Dranyen – National Musical Instrument of Bhutan- Miniature Sheet on Dranyen
The typical folk instrument of Bhutan is a long lute named Dranyen (Lute).It is a long lute with seven strings. One of the strings comes from the middle of the neck. The strings are commonly made of gut. It is usually beautifully painted with green, blue and red colours, usually with religious motifs. On the top of the neck there is almost always a dragon figure. There is one bridge that is over the skin in the resonance box. The body of the dranyen is usually made of one piece of wood (except the top with a head of a dragon) and the resonance box is carved to make a cavity where the skin is placed. The size is between 60 and 110 cm, depending of the maker. In the villages it is possible to see dranyen home-made, quite simple and without decorations. Similar instruments of the dranyen are found in the Himalayas (Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, West Bengal), but they don’t have the characteristics of the Bhutanese one. They are smaller than the Bhutanese type and they usually have 5-6 strings. Quite similar in shape is the Dranyen played in Tibet. However, it is commonly less decorated and it has 3 pairs of strings (total 6 strings). The size and the sound is quite similar. A small dranyen is played in east Bhutan, in the Trashigang district (Merak Village).
Bhutan issued a set of Six stamps on Musical Instruments of Bhutan on 01 Sep 2017.
A minature sheet on Dranyen (lute) -The National Music Instrument of Bhutan is listed below. The Sheet also shows Lhamo Yangchenma -The Goddess of Knowledge and Music.