Music in India is broken into two main categories - folk and classical. Though they have similar characteristics they are played by different classes of people. The classical style is enjoyed and played mostly by the upper class while many classes enjoy and perform folk music.

Some folk styles have similar characteristics of classical style such as rhythm, meter and ragas (a series of 5 or more musical notes upon which a melody is founded). Over 500 folk instruments have been collected in India but musicians say that is just the tip of the iceberg. Some folk instruments have been adopted by classical musicians. A sarangi has been a favorite accompaniment instrument in classical circles. The shehnai is also a popular instrument in both groups.

Classical music, first performed only in temples and courts, has its origins as a meditation tool for attaining self-realization. One of the most complex and complete musical systems ever developed, it uses very small intervals of sound. The sound is monophonic consisting of melody without accompanying harmony. Some popular Indian instruments include sitar, sarod, tambura, shehnai, sarangi and tabla.

Musical instruments from the Indian culture are listed below. Please also see the instrument categories on the left to explore additional musical instruments from India.


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Learn to Play On Harmonium
Learn to Play On Harmonium
Learn to Play on Harmonium book by Ram Avtar Vir. Includes handling of harmonium instrument, movement of fingers, use of bellows, rhythm, speed, and time, exercises, songs, and more, 63 pages. Made in India.
 
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Learn to Play On Sitar
Learn to Play On Sitar
Sitar book By Ram Avtar "Vir". Provides instruction of handling, care, style of playing, exercises, music and more. Made in India.
 
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Learn to Play on Tabla, set of 2 books by Pankaj
Learn to Play on Tabla, set of 2 books by Pankaj
Learn to Play on Tabla, Set of 2 books by Ram Avtar Vir. Covers parts of tablas, sitting positions, Boles, time and rhythm, tuning exercises, history, tabla care, beginning tals, advanced talas, and more (47 and 54 pages). Made in India.
 
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Madal Drum, Strap Tension
Madal Drum, Strap Tension
Madal Drum, Strap Tension. Wooden two-headed drum. Heads held in place and tuned by lacing. Held horizontally, both heads are played. Overall length of drum is 15.5 inches. Diameter of large head ranges from 6.5 inches to 8 inches. Diameter of small head ranges from 5 inches to 6 inches. Made in India.
 
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Mel Bay's Fun with the Ocarina
Mel Bay's Fun with the Ocarina
 
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Mridangam, South Indian
Mridangam, South Indian
The South Indian Mridangam has a Jackfruit tree wood shell with two heads, bass and tenor, and lace tension tuning. Held horizontally, the two opposing heads are bass (approximately 8 inches) and tenor (approximately 6.5 inches). Overall length is approximately 24 inches. The Southern Mridangam tenor head has a wider outer Chat layer that fills the space between the Syahi and the gajara( braided rim). Sliver-thin reeds are inserted between the layers to add to the sound. The base head also has an inside load. There are no tuning blocks (thought you could insert wooden dowels if you wanted). The is a special rhythm instrument for accompaniment to vocal or devotional music. Made in India.
 
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Naal Drum, Deluxe, Bolt Tension
Naal Drum, Deluxe, Bolt Tension
Deluxe model Naal drum. Wooden two-headed drum. Heads held in place and tuned by bolts. Held horizontally, both heads are played. Made in India.
 
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Nagada Drum, 24", with Stand
Nagada Drum, 24", with Stand
Nagada Drum, 24 inch with Stand (Item Code: NGDA24-SD) The construction is very much like the kettle-drums which are found throughout the Middle-East. The most common kettle drum in India today is known as the nagada. These drums may be found in different sizes and shapes and played with sticks. Comes with a beater and stand. Measures approximately 24 inches in diameter X 14 inches Deep (609.6 x 355.6 mm). Actual weight for drum 30 lb (13.6 Kg).
 
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Nagaswaram Indian Flute
Nagaswaram
The Nagaswaram reeded Indian flute has seven finger-holes. There are five additional holes drilled at the bottom which are used as controllers. The Nagaswaram reeded Indian flute has a range of two and a half octaves like the flute. The system of fingering is similar to that of the flute. But unlike the flute, where semi and quarter tones are produced by the partial opening and closing of the finger holes, in the Nagaswaram they are produced by adjusting the pressure and strength of the air-flow into the pipe. Hence it is a very exacting instrument. Also, due to its intense volume and strength it is basically an outdoor instrument and much more suited for open spaces than for closed indoor concert situations. Comes with 5 spare reeds, 1 ivory needle or horn attached as well as a carrying bag. Length may vary between 34 inches to 35 inches. There is approximately 1 inch between each finger hole. Made in India.
 
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Ocarina Tutor Book
Ocarina Tutor Book
The Ocarina Tutor Book is pocket sized, by Kalischeck. Provides playing instructions for the Ocarina, finger charts and 24 songs. Made in USA.
 
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Ocarina, Necklace, Bass D
Ocarina, Necklace, Bass D
The Bass D Ocarina Necklace is made of glazed clay, has six finger holes. The Ocarina has over an octave of tones, leather necklace included. Made in Pakistan.
 
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Ocarina, Necklace, G
Ocarina, Necklace, G
This Ocarina Neckace in G is made of glazed clay, has six finger holes. The Ocarina has over an octave of tones, leather necklace included. Made in Pakistan.
 
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Ocarina, Necklace, Tenor D
Ocarina, Necklace, Tenor D
The Tenor D Ocarina necklace is made of glazed clay, has six finger holes. Ocarina has over an octave of tones, leather necklace included. Made in Pakistan.
 
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Production of Tabla Bols, DVD
Production of Tabla Bols, DVD
Production of tabla bols by Ashwin Batish. A thorough collection of tabla bols. DVD. Made in USA.
 
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Professional Bansuri Flute, Key of A
Professional Bansuri Flute, Key of A
Please be Advised: Bansuri flutes are hand crafted from bamboo. As a result, there may be some bending of the cane so that they are not perfectly straight. If you require a very straight bansuri flute, our deluxe models are the most straight, and also cost a bit more. Professional Bansuri flute in A, approximately 22.75 inches in length. The Professional Bansuri has a mouthpiece that is played in a similar way as the western transverse flute. It is made from a single piece of bamboo with seven holes. The pitch indicated for the bansuri means the flute will play that pitch with the first 3 holes covered. The dominate hand plays the lower three holes. The seventh hole is optional and rarely played. Its main purpose is to give greater accuracy in the upper octaves. It may be played on the rare occasion when you need to play the Ni in the lower octave. The bansuri is a transverse flute from India, literally from the words bans (bamboo) and suri. It is one of the oldest musical instruments. All half notes, accidentals and microtones are produced by a unique fingering system. The finger holes have to be precisely covered either fully or half by the phalanxes of the fingers and not by the fingertips. This technique also simplifies the playing of longer bansuris. The standard quality of the Indian bansuris produce a quite beautiful sound, but their tuning is often not exactly to the western standard notes. It can happen that they sometimes sound slightly out of tune to the western ear. This Bansuri flute is hand crafted. Becoming a perfect flute maker takes a long time. One must know the materials as well as the craft; and one must have patience. Each flute requires years of preparation and then concentrated attention to details. The Bansuri flutes are made from only one type of bamboo, called cinchor. This bamboo only grows in the interior forests of Assam. Only straight Bamboo of 3 to 4 years old and of the proper diameter can be used. The cut bamboo is then treated, dried and stored for years until it is properly seasoned. The longer it is seasoned the better the flute. The correct notes are achieved by piercing the seasoned bamboo with hot iron rods in precise positions along the length. Please be advised that the longer the flute, the wider the required finger span. If you have smaller hands, you may be unable to reach all of the finger holes. Made in India.
 
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Professional Bansuri Flute, Key of C-Sharp
Professional Bansuri Flute, Key of C-Sharp
Please be Advised: Bansuri flutes are hand crafted from bamboo. As a result, there may be some bending of the cane so that they are not perfectly straight. If you require a very straight bansuri flute, our deluxe models are the most straight, and also cost a bit more. Bansuri flute in C-Sharp, approximately 34.5 inches in length. The Bansuri has a mouthpiece that is played in a similar way as the western transverse flute. It is made from a single piece of bamboo with seven holes. The pitch indicated for the bansuri means the flute will play that pitch with the first 3 holes covered. The dominate hand plays the lower three holes. The seventh hole is optional and rarely played. Its main purpose is to give greater accuracy in the upper octaves. It may be played on the rare occasion when you need to play the Ni in the lower octave. The bansuri is a transverse flute from India, literally from the words bans (bamboo) and suri. It is one of the oldest musical instruments. All half notes, accidentals and microtones are produced by a unique fingering system. The finger holes have to be precisely covered either fully or half by the phalanxes of the fingers and not by the fingertips. This technique also simplifies the playing of longer bansuris. The standard quality of the Indian bansuris produce a quite beautiful sound, but their tuning is often not exactly to the western standard notes. It can happen that they sometimes sound slightly out of tune to the western ear. This Bansuri flute is hand crafted. Becoming a perfect flute maker takes a long time. One must know the materials as well as the craft; and one must have patience. Each flute requires years of preparation and then concentrated attention to details. The Bansuri flutes are made from only one type of bamboo, called cinchor. This bamboo only grows in the interior forests of Assam. Only straight Bamboo of 3 to 4 years old and of the proper diameter can be used. The cut bamboo is then treated, dried and stored for years until it is properly seasoned. The longer it is seasoned the better the flute. The correct notes are achieved by piercing the seasoned bamboo with hot iron rods in precise positions along the length. Please be advised that the longer the flute, the wider the required finger span. If you have smaller hands, you may be unable to reach all of the finger holes. Made in India.
 
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Professional Bansuri Flute, Key of E
Professional Bansuri Flute, Key of E
Please be Advised: Bansuri flutes are hand crafted from bamboo. As a result, there may be some bending of the cane so that they are not perfectly straight. If you require a very straight bansuri flute, our deluxe models are the most straight, and also cost a bit more. Bansuri flute in E, approximately 29.5 inches in length. The Bansuri has a mouthpiece that is played in a similar way as the western transverse flute. It is made from a single piece of bamboo with seven holes. The pitch indicated for the bansuri means the flute will play that pitch with the first 3 holes covered. The dominate hand plays the lower three holes. The seventh hole is optional and rarely played. Its main purpose is to give greater accuracy in the upper octaves. It may be played on the rare occasion when you need to play the Ni in the lower octave. The bansuri is a transverse flute from India, literally from the words bans (bamboo) and suri. It is one of the oldest musical instruments. All half notes, accidentals and microtones are produced by a unique fingering system. The finger holes have to be precisely covered either fully or half by the phalanxes of the fingers and not by the fingertips. This technique also simplifies the playing of longer bansuris. The standard quality of the Indian bansuris produce a quite beautiful sound, but their tuning is often not exactly to the western standard notes. It can happen that they sometimes sound slightly out of tune to the western ear. This Bansuri flute is hand crafted. Becoming a perfect flute maker takes a long time. One must know the materials as well as the craft; and one must have patience. Each flute requires years of preparation and then concentrated attention to details. The Bansuri flutes are made from only one type of bamboo, called cinchor. This bamboo only grows in the interior forests of Assam. Only straight Bamboo of 3 to 4 years old and of the proper diameter can be used. The cut bamboo is then treated, dried and stored for years until it is properly seasoned. The longer it is seasoned the better the flute. The correct notes are achieved by piercing the seasoned bamboo with hot iron rods in precise positions along the length. Please be advised that the longer the flute, the wider the required finger span. If you have smaller hands, you may be unable to reach all of the finger holes. Made in India.
 
Base SKU:FLPE
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Professional Bansuri Flute, Key of F
Professional Bansuri Flute, Key of F
Please be Advised: Bansuri flutes are hand crafted from bamboo. As a result, there may be some bending of the cane so that they are not perfectly straight. If you require a very straight bansuri flute, our deluxe models are the most straight, and also cost a bit more. Bansuri flute in F, approximately 28.5 inches in length. The Bansuri has a mouthpiece that is played in a similar way as the western transverse flute. It is made from a single piece of bamboo with seven holes. The pitch indicated for the bansuri means the flute will play that pitch with the first 3 holes covered. The dominate hand plays the lower three holes. The seventh hole is optional and rarely played. Its main purpose is to give greater accuracy in the upper octaves. It may be played on the rare occasion when you need to play the Ni in the lower octave. The bansuri is a transverse flute from India, literally from the words bans (bamboo) and suri. It is one of the oldest musical instruments. All half notes, accidentals and microtones are produced by a unique fingering system. The finger holes have to be precisely covered either fully or half by the phalanxes of the fingers and not by the fingertips. This technique also simplifies the playing of longer bansuris. The standard quality of the Indian bansuris produce a quite beautiful sound, but their tuning is often not exactly to the western standard notes. It can happen that they sometimes sound slightly out of tune to the western ear. This Bansuri flute is hand crafted. Becoming a perfect flute maker takes a long time. One must know the materials as well as the craft; and one must have patience. Each flute requires years of preparation and then concentrated attention to details. The Bansuri flutes are made from only one type of bamboo, called cinchor. This bamboo only grows in the interior forests of Assam. Only straight Bamboo of 3 to 4 years old and of the proper diameter can be used. The cut bamboo is then treated, dried and stored for years until it is properly seasoned. The longer it is seasoned the better the flute. The correct notes are achieved by piercing the seasoned bamboo with hot iron rods in precise positions along the length. Please be advised that the longer the flute, the wider the required finger span. If you have smaller hands, you may be unable to reach all of the finger holes. Made in India.
 
Base SKU:FLPF
In Stock:Yes
Regular Price: $73.90
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Professional Bansuri Flute, Key of G
Professional Bansuri Flute, Key of G
Please be Advised: Bansuri flutes are hand crafted from bamboo. As a result, there may be some bending of the cane so that they are not perfectly straight. If you require a very straight bansuri flute, our deluxe models are the most straight, and also cost a bit more. Bansuri flute in G, approximately 24.75 inches in length. The Bansuri has a mouthpiece that is played in a similar way as the western transverse flute. It is made from a single piece of bamboo with seven holes. The pitch indicated for the bansuri means the flute will play that pitch with the first 3 holes covered. The dominate hand plays the lower three holes. The seventh hole is optional and rarely played. Its main purpose is to give greater accuracy in the upper octaves. It may be played on the rare occasion when you need to play the Ni in the lower octave. The bansuri is a transverse flute from India, literally from the words bans (bamboo) and suri. It is one of the oldest musical instruments. All half notes, accidentals and microtones are produced by a unique fingering system. The finger holes have to be precisely covered either fully or half by the phalanxes of the fingers and not by the fingertips. This technique also simplifies the playing of longer bansuris. The standard quality of the Indian bansuris produce a quite beautiful sound, but their tuning is often not exactly to the western standard notes. It can happen that they sometimes sound slightly out of tune to the western ear. This Bansuri flute is hand crafted. Becoming a perfect flute maker takes a long time. One must know the materials as well as the craft; and one must have patience. Each flute requires years of preparation and then concentrated attention to details. The Bansuri flutes are made from only one type of bamboo, called cinchor. This bamboo only grows in the interior forests of Assam. Only straight Bamboo of 3 to 4 years old and of the proper diameter can be used. The cut bamboo is then treated, dried and stored for years until it is properly seasoned. The longer it is seasoned the better the flute. The correct notes are achieved by piercing the seasoned bamboo with hot iron rods in precise positions along the length. Please be advised that the longer the flute, the wider the required finger span. If you have smaller hands, you may be unable to reach all of the finger holes. Made in India.
 
Base SKU:FLPG
In Stock:Yes
Regular Price: $53.90
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Santoor, India
Santoor, India
Santoor from India has 16 Left plus 15 Right courses. Hammers play along metal strings providing an exotic sound. Inlaid red lacquer body. Includes hammers and case. Made in India.
 
Base SKU:SNTR
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Regular Price: $799.00
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