Rajasthani Folk Instruments

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Rajasthan has a large variety of folk musical instruments. The ‘Sindhi Sarangi’, ‘Gujratan sarangi’, ‘jogiya sarangi’, ‘srimandal’ and ‘ravan hatha’ are the important stringed instruments used in Rajasthan. Among the other stringed instruments, mention may be made of ‘apang’, ‘Dilruba’, ‘dusaka’, ‘revaj’ and ‘tandoora’. Rajasthani folk music has many variations of flute. ‘Peli’ is a short flute of the ‘Meos’ of Alwar; ‘Algoza’, common in Tonk-Ajmer areas, is a combination of two such flutes; the ‘Satara’ of the ‘Langas’ has one long flute and another flute to provide the drone, and ‘Narh’ or ‘Nad’ is a vertical flute made from a desert grass known as ‘kangore’. Rajasthan also has a wide range of trumpets from the small ‘singi’ of the Jogi to the massive ‘Karna’ and the intriguing looking ‘Nagphani’ and the most common ‘Bankia’. One of the most well known instruments of the desert is the ‘poongi’, also known as a ‘murli’.

The commonly used autophonic instruments, include the ‘Ghanti’, ‘ghungroo’, ‘manjeeras’ (including ‘Jhanit’), ‘Thali’ (‘Tasli’) and ‘Jhalar’. In Jaisalmer district an interesting variant of the ‘Jaltarang’ is used, which is called ‘Jaltaal’. The most common percussion instrument found in the villages of Rajasthan is the ‘dhol’ and its variant ‘dholak’. The ‘chang’ is a large drum played by one or two musicians, especially during the festival of Holi. The ‘duff’ is also played during Holi. ‘Khanzari’ is a small drum that is traditionally played by ‘Kalbelias’ or snake charmers.

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