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Thumbi 2.jpg
one stringed instrument
Other namesToombi, thumbi
Classification String instruments
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Kuldeep Manak, Bhangra
Toonba and algoza. Toonba and algoza.JPG
Toonba and algoza.

The tumbi or toombi (Punjabi : ਤੂੰਬੀ, pronunciation: tūmbī), also called a tumba or toomba, is a traditional musical instrument from the Punjab region of the northern Indian subcontinent. The high-pitched, single-string plucking instrument is associated with folk music of Punjab and presently very popular in Western Bhangra music. [1]


The tumbi was popularized in the modern era by the Punjabi folksinger Lal Chand Yamla Jatt (1914-1991). In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s many Punjabi singers adopted the tumbi, notably Kuldeep Manak, Mohammed Sadiq, Didar Sandhu, Amar Singh Chamkila, and Kartar Ramla. Other users include Punjabi Sufi singers such as Kanwar Grewal and Saeen Zahoor.

The instrument is made of a wooden stick mounted with a gourd shell resonator. A single metallic string passes across the resonator over a bridge and is tied to a tuning key at the end of the stick. Players strike the string with a continuous flick and retraction of the first finger to produce sound.

Use in Western music


See also

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  1. Anjali Gera Roy (2010). Bhangra Moves: From Ludhiana to London and Beyond. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 58–. ISBN   978-0-7546-5823-8 . Retrieved 9 June 2013.

Further reading

Thuhi, Hardial. The Tumba-Algoza Ballad Tradition. Translated by Gibb Schreffler. Journal of Punjab Studies 18(1&2) (Spring-Fall 2011). pp. 169–202.