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Indian musical instruments: 12 unique Indian musical instruments names with pictures

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

Indian musical instruments have a lot of varieties, be it different kinds of musical instruments for different genres as well as various traditional folk musical instruments originated from different parts of the country. India is a country with a very rich cultural and musical heritage. Music has always been an integral part of Indian culture. The music of India can be divided into two genres, Hindustani classical music, and Carnatic classical music. Both these genres represent the two parts of India, the Northern and the Southern part respectively. Persian influence can be seen on the music of North India as well as on the musical instruments as the northern part of the country was under Muslim rule for a long period of time. 

Carnatic music is known for its very unique singing practices whereas Hindustani classical music is famous for its instrumentalists. The difference in both genres can be seen in the types of musical instruments used. The most commonly used Indian musical instruments in Hindustani classical music are Sitar, Tabla, Flute, Sarangi, Sarod, etc whereas the most common instruments in Carnatic music are Veena, Mridangam, Kanjra, Flute, etc. 


Besides both the genres of Hindustani classical and Carnatic music, various traditional forms of folk music originated from different parts of the country also influence Indian music. There are a large number of various traditional musical instruments of India which are now integral parts of Indian music. Every state of the country has a rich musical heritage of its own. The style of music that originated from Kashmir is very different from Assamese folk music. Similarly, theBaul songs” from West Bengal are very different from the Maharashtrian folk songs. Besides folks, the variation in style can be seen in various devotional songs originated from different parts of the country. Every tribe has its own set of traditional musical instruments. The dhol, Pepa, Gogona of Assam are used in Bihu songs, Khomok from West Bengal which is an integral part of Baul songs, and the Ravanahatha from Rajasthani folk songs are some of the greatest additions to the rich Indian music.


12 very unique Indian musical instruments names with pictures:

1. Gogona:

Gogona is a vibrating instrument that is an integral part of the traditional Bihu songs of Assam.  This instrument is made of a piece of bamboo that has a bifurcation at one end. The other end of the instrument is gripped with the teeth and the free ends are then struck repeatedly with fingers to get the distinctive sound of the gogona. ( source: wikipedia.com)


Indian musical instruments names with pictures
image source: Wikipedia

2. Ravanahatha:

This instrument is used mostly by the Nayak tribe of Rajasthan. An ancient form of violin, this instrument is found mostly in Rajasthan as well as some parts of Srilanka. This instrument is also called sarangi in some parts of the country.