Rag Dung, Copper and tin, Tibetan

Rag Dung

mid-20th century
Copper and tin
Height (Extended): 65 15/16 in. (167.5 cm)
Height (Closed): 29 1/8 in. (74 cm)
Width: 5 7/8 in. (14.9 cm)
Depth: 5 15/16 in. (15.1 cm)
Diameter (Of bell): 5 11/16 in. (14.5 cm)
Weight: 3.3 lbs. (1496.87 g)
Aerophone-Lip Vibrated-trumpet / trombone
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1980
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 680
Collapsible long trumpets of brass or silver are found throughout Tibetan culture areas. Made of three or four telescoping sections, these trumpets play only two or three notes. Tonal variety is achieved in subtle ways--by wavering the pitch, fluctuating volume and intensity and by different ways of attaching and releasing the note. Dung chen, similar long trumpets, are differentiated from the rag-dung by their metal content and length. The rag-dung is a medium sized trumpet with more brass in its composition. These are played in ensemble preludes and interludes, alone or in alternation with rgya-glings (shawms) for morning and evening calls from monastery roofs. The two brass bosses on the rag-dungs are decorated with floral patterns and confronted nagas (dragons) appearing on either side of the "triple gem".