List of Indian musical instruments

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Lady playing pulluvan veena


Indian tribal drummer

Indian musical instruments can be broadly classified according to the Hornbostel–Sachs system into four categories: chordophones (string instruments), aerophones (wind instruments), membranophones (drums) and idiophones (non-drum percussion instruments).


Plucked strings[edit]

Painting of a woman with a sitar

Bowed strings[edit]

Tribal fiddle instruments called "Dhodro Banam" used by Santhal people in Eastern India.

Other string instruments[edit]

  • Gethu or Jhallari
  • Gubguba or Jamuku - Percussion string instrument
  • Pulluvan kutam
  • Santoor - Hammered chord box


Single reed[edit]

Snake charmer playing pungi
Bansuri player at fort Jodhpur
Indian Harmonium

Double reed[edit]



Free reed[edit]

Free reed and bellows[edit]



Hand drums[edit]

Learn To Play Tabla
Tumbaknaer, drum from Jammu and Kashmir for accompanying devotionals
Chenda (top) and Chande (below) are different drums
Chande of Yakshagana

Hand frame drums[edit]

  • Daff, duff, daf or duf - medium or large frame drum without jingles, of Persian origin
  • Dimdi or dimri - small frame drum without jingles
  • Kanjira - small frame drum with one jingle
  • Kansi - small without jingles
  • Patayani thappu - medium frame drum played with hands

Stick and hand drums[edit]

Stick drums[edit]



  • Vidushi Shashikala Dani performing Jaltarang
    Jal tarang, ceramic bowls with water
  • Kanch tarang, a type of glass harp
  • Kashtha tarang, a type of xylophone


Sound samples[edit]

External links[edit]