India Musical Instruments Used in Indian Classical Music  

2.2k votes 875 voters 95.6k views 20 items

List Rules Only musical instruments used in Indian classical music

Indian musical instruments list--complete with pictures and names. These instruments are used in Carnatic and Hindustani styles of Indian classical music. While some instruments originated in the Indian sub-continent, Persian and European musical instruments have also been adapted very well for Indian classical music.

What are some common instruments playing in Indian music? If you are an expert or know something about the topic, please add to this list of Indian musical instruments names and vote on your favorites.

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Veena Plucked string instrument - Widely used Carnatic instrument

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Violin String instrument, Bowed string instrument - More widely used in Carnatic as an accompaniment to vocal and other instruments.

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Guitar String instrument, Plucked string instrument - Guitar Prasanna has adapted guitar for Carnatic music extremely well. Give a listen to the video.

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Bansuri The bamboo flute. Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is a treat to listen to!

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Ghatam Carnatic percussion

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Tabla Percussion, Drum - The most popular Indian percussion instrument. If you haven't heard Ustad Zakir Hussain playing tabla, you haven't lived your life yet!

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Santoor The scintillating sounds of santoor are always soothing for the soul. Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma brought this instrument to popularity in Hindustani music.

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Nadaswaram is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Musical Instruments Used in Indian Classical Music
Nadaswaram Carnatic wind instrument

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Shehnai Hindustani wind instrument

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Harmonium Keyboard

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Sarod Plucked string instrument - Stringed instrument

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Saxophone Woodwind instrument - Before Kadri Gopalnath, I believe the sax was considered "unadaptable" for Carnatic music.

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Sarangi Bowed string instrument - Hindustani stringed instrument

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Kanjira Carnatic percussion. Popular contemporary player is Selva ganesh.

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Mridangam Carnatic percussion instrument

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Sitar Plucked string instrument - Who hasn't heard Pandit Ravi Shankar's mesmerizing music? Sitar is widely used in Hindustani music and a treat to hear!

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Tambura Plucked string instrument - Used as a drone to maintain the pitch

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JodyDeMarco added Contemporary harpsichord

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Mandolin Plucked string instrument - Another Western instrument adapted well for Carnatic music by maestro U. Srinivas.

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JodyDeMarco added H'arpeggione