A morsing (also mukharshanku, mourching, morching or morchang; Telugu: మోర్సింగ్, Kannada: ಮೋರ್ಸಿಂಗ್, Rajasthani: मोरचंग, Tamil: நாமுழவு அல்லது முகச்சங்கு, Malayalam: മുഖർശംഖ്, English: "jaw harp") is an instrument similar to the Jew's harp, mainly used in Rajasthan, in the Carnatic music of South India, and in Sindh, Pakistan. It can be categorized under lamellophones, which is in the category of plucked idiophones. It consists of a metal ring in the shape of a horseshoe with two parallel forks which form the frame, and a metal tongue in the middle, between the forks, fixed to the ring at one end and free to vibrate at the other. The metal tongue is bent at the free end in a plane perpendicular to the circular ring so that it can be struck and is made to vibrate. This bent part is called the trigger.
|struck using the other hand to produce sound.|
An instrument with a history of 1500 years, its exact origin in India is not well documented. In the tradition of the Indian gurukul system of teaching, thus folk tales are a secondary source of its history. In India it is found mainly in South India, Rajasthan and also in some parts of Assam. It is also sometimes used while playing Rabindrasangeet in Bengal and in Assamese folk songs. In South India, it features in Carnatic concerts and percussion ensembles. It is said to be the precursor to subsequent instruments such as the harmonica and the harmonium.
In Rajasthan it is called morchang and is used as a percussion instrument in lok geet (folk music). It was often used in Hindi cinema by music directors like R.D. Burman and S.D.Burman, and has resurfaced in the twentieth century, with street performers like Varun Zinje playing it in a renewed style.