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Thumbi 2.jpg
one stringed instrument
Other names Toombi, thumbi
Classification String instruments
More articles
Kuldeep Manak, Bhangra

The tumbi or toombi (Punjabi: ਤੂੰਬੀ, pronunciation: tūmbī) is a traditional North Indian musical instrument from Punjab. 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, 70s and 80s most of the Punjabi singers used the tumbi, such as Kuldeep Manak, Mohammed Sadiq, Didar Sandhu, Amar Singh Chamkila and Kartar Ramla.


The instrument is made of a wooden stick mounted with a gourd shell resonator. A single metallic string is passed on a resonator over a bridge and tied to the key at the end of the stick. The string is struck with the continuous flick and retraction of the fourth finger.

Use in Western music[edit]


See also[edit]


  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[edit]

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