Indian Instruments Continued… but with picss

There are many musical instruments in India.  Some instruments are used primarily in north Indian music (Hindustani sangeet), some are used in the south Indian music (Carnatic sangeet), while others are found in folk music.  Instrumental music is usually similar to vocal music but sometimes there are distinctive instrumental styles.

There is a traditional system for the classification of instruments.  This system is based upon; non-membranous percussion (ghan), membranous percussion (avanaddh), wind blown (sushir), plucked string (tat), bowed string (vitat).  In addition to these traditional five classes we have been forced to create a sixth class to accommodate purely electronic instruments.


Non-Membranous Percussive (Ghan)

This is one of the oldest classes of instruments in India.  This class is based upon percussive instruments which do not have membranes, specifically those which have solid resonators.  These may be either melodic instruments or instruments to keep tal.

  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Andelu
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Chimpta
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Ghatam
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Ghungharu
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Gol Kathi (Dancing Stick)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Jal Tarang
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Kartal
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Kasht Tarang
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Manjira
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Nout
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Murchang

Blown Air (Sushir)

This class of instrument is characterized by the use of air to excite the various resonators.

  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Bansuri
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Bombashi
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Harmonium
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Mukhavina
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Nadaswaram
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Ottu
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Pungi
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Shankh
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Shehnai
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Surpeti

Plucked Stringed Instruments (Tat)

This class of instruments is characterized by plucked strings.  In ancient times virtually all instruments of this class were referred to as vina.

  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Bulbul Tarang
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Dotar #1
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Dotar #2 (Dotora)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Dramyen
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Ektar
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Getchu Vadyam (Gettuvadyam)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Gopichand (ektar)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Gotuvadyam
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Katho (Khomok)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Magadi Vina
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Nakula Vina
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Rabab (Kabuli Rabab)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Rudra Vina
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Santur
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Saraswati Vina (South Indian Vina)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Sarod
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Seni Rabab
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Sitar
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Surbahar
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Surmandal
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Swarabat (Swaragat)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Tanpura
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Tuntuna (Chohokhode)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Vichitra Vina

Bowed-Stringed Instruments (Vitat)

This is a class of stringed instruments which are bowed.  This class appears to be quite old, yet these instruments did not occupy a place in classical music until the last few centuries.  The entire class of instruments has a certain stigma attached to it.  Even today only the Western violin is free of this stigma.

  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Banam
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Chikara
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Dilruba
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Esraj
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Kamancha
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Kenda
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Mayuri Vina
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Pena (a.k.a. Bana)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Ravanhasta
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Sarangi
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Saringda
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Tar Shehnai
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Violin

Membranous Percussive (Avanaddh)

This is a class of instruments which have struck membranes.  These typically comprise the drums.

  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Charchari
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Chenda
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Daf (Duf, Daphu, Daffali)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Damaru
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Dhad
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Dhak (Daklu)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Dhol
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Dholak
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Dholki (Nal)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Diggi
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Idakka and Udaku (Udakai)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Goga Dhol
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Gummeta (Dakki, Budike)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Jaspuria
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Jhorka & Korka
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Kanjira
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Khol (Mridang)
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Madar
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Maddal
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Mridangam
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Nagada
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Nissan, Mawaloti, or Lohati
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Pakhawaj
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Pancha Mukha Vadhyam
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Phara
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Pung
  • thumbnail  image of Indian instrument  Sambal
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Shuddha Madalam
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Tabla
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Tabla Tarang
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Tamak
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Tasha
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Tavil
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Thanthi Panai
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Timki
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Tumbak
  • thumbnail image of Indian instrument  Urumili