Other Musical Instruments

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There are hundreds of folk musical instruments that used all across India, a few of them are listed below by way of illustration:

Algoza: It is a folk instrument of Punjab and Rajasthan that resembles flute. It is also known as “maltiyaan” or “jodi”.

Bangla Khol: It is a popular rhythm instrument used in devotional and folk music.

Bheri: It was a large martial drum used in ancient times.

Chenda: It is the cylindrical or barrel-drum of Kerala.

Cipla: It consists of two pieces of hard wood provided with slits into which metal pieces are inserted to give out the sound.

Dafat: It is a wooden drum with eight sides, one of which is covered with hide for playing.

Jhal: These are large-sized cymbals.

Kartal: It consists of two circular wooden castanets, which produces sound when struck against one another.

Khong: It consists of carved and hollowed wooden pieces, which produce sound when beaten by a stick.

Lau Tarang: It is a dying music form typical of Khergaon in Madhya Pradesh in which the main musical instrument comprises of cross-iron bars with twenty four rounded iron discs. The tunes are obtained by hitting the iron discs with round hammers.

Madal: It is a type of clay drum, popular in Nepal. The credit for introducing this instrument to the Bollywood music goes to the famous Nepalese musician Ranjeet Gajmer.

Moibung: It is a natural conch, blown vigorously.

Morsing: It is clenched between the teeth and plucked pizzicato style.

Pena: It consists of a piece of bamboo inserted into a coconut.

Pere: It is a metal horn like a trumpet.

Sellbung (Senbung): It is a bell-metal gong made in several sizes to get a variety of sound effects.

Tavil: It is a popular percussion instrument used in Carnatic devotional music.

Talam: It is a rhythm instrument used as accompaniment during a Bharatanatyam dance.

Yaihung: It is a wooden drum, about 2.43 metres long and one metre in height and requires two persons each at one end to beat it with sticks called ‘pungjai’. ‘Harao-pung’ is a much smaller version of this instrument.

Ancient Indian Instruments: Flute, Nadaswaram, Veena, Gootuvadhyam, Thavil, Mridangam and Plain drum.

Instruments of Foreign Origin: Harmonium, Sarod, Shehnai, Sitar, Tabla and Violin are instruments of foreign origin. Recently, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt has adapted guitar and Kadri Gopalnath has adapted saxophone to the Hindustani Music, while U.Srinivas has adapted mandolin to the Carnatic Music.


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