Nagaland musician Moa Subong, who invented BamHum, dubbed the “the easiest wind musical instrument in the world”, has applied for a patent through the National Innovation Foundation to increase its commercial production.
“We applied for the patent for BamHum last year. It is very easy to play. It has a new mechanism and a unique tone. The BamHum draws its name from the bamboo and the effect of humming into the instrument,” said Subong, a member of the band Abiogenesis.
A user has to hum a tune into the BamHum. The hum gets amplified musically and there is a hole to modify the tune. It also has a rattle at one end.
BamHum is already being sold by some music retailers in Dimapur. Subong is now planning to increase its production. The instrument is also available online.
Subong received a national award last year from the then President Pranab Mukherjee to develop the BamHum during the Festival of Innovation. “The shops manage to sell 300 to 400 instruments annually. The commercial production of BamHum began 5 years ago. This is a new instrument and people are interested in buying it,” said Subong, who has also invented another instrument called Tikzik, a bamboo percussion instrument.
“It is quite rare to apply for a patent for a musical instrument. If an instrument is a new concept then it can proceed for due process,” said an Assam Science Technology and Environment Council official.
Subong and his wife Arenla founded Abiogenesis in 1992.
The band is credited with inventing a new form of world music called Howey music, which infuses Naga chants. Abiogenesis was nominated for its 2007 album Aeon Speed in the contemporary world music category for the 50th Grammy Awards.