, also known as the jew's harp
, is one of the smallest percussion instrument
s. It is used in South Indian Carnatic music
and appears to be gaining popularity. It makes a rather nasal
sound as is always a side accompaniment to the main percussion, the mridangam
The morsing consists of a circular ring with two arms extending from one end; through this frame and attached to it is a thin elastic iron strip called the tongue, which protrudes from the end opposite to the arms. The tongue can be fine-tuned slightly by placing small amounts of wax on one end. The player holds the morsing in his left hand with the arm end against his teeth and plucks the tongue from the other end with his right hand; his mouth functions as a resonator (along the same principles as the body of a guitar) to amplify the sound. Also, by varying the shape and position of his mouth and tongue, the player can create various harmonics in addition to the basic tone.
A major reason the morsing is becoming more popular in Carnatic music is because the written form of patterns for the other percussion instruments - "tha-kitta-kitta-thaka-naka-thari-kita-thaka" etc. - can be mouthed by the morsing player to create these harmonics, which makes learning to play the morsing fairly easy for someone already experienced in one of the other instruments.