What Is the Ncas Instrument?



What is the Ncas instrument?

DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE OF THE NCAS

  • The Ncas is made with brass, a bamboo case, and string.
  • The “Ncas” or mouth harp is traditionally used by the Hmong in courtship and played either by young men or women. Clever couples can use the instrument as a private form of communication. This instrument can be used to combine the spoken word and verbal tones.

The instrument is played by putting the thin metal blade of the instrument up against, and between the upper, and lower lips, and plucking the blade to produce vibrations. The vibrations of the blade manipulate the lip and mouth cavity to produce a kind of masked combination of speech and music. Inhaling and exhaling helps produce the sounds of the instrument.

http://hmongstudies.org/HmongFolkArtsPresentation.pdf



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