Musical Instruments of India
The Musical Instruments section of the Indian Culture portal contains information about a range of instruments from across India. The Indian Culture portal has researched and is happy to present information about the countless exquisite musical instruments of our country. The extent and diversity of such instruments is vast and we will keep on adding to this section.
Natya Shastra by Bharat Muni (composed between 200 BC and 200 AD) clubbed musical instruments into four groups: Avanaddha Vadya (membranophones or percussion instruments), Ghan Vadya (idiophones or solid instruments), Sushir Vadya (aerophones or wind instruments),
and Tat Vadya (chordophones or stringed instruments). This ancient classification given by Bharat Muni for the musical instruments of India was later adapted in 12th century Europe and used for the classification of the Musical Instruments of Europe. Later, Greek labels were assigned to the four classifications - Chordophones for Tat Vadya, Membranophones for Avanaddha Vadya, Aerophones for Sushir Vadya, and Autophones for Ghan Vadya. Thus, the western system of classification is based on the ancient Indian Natya Shastra.
Ancient Indian statues and paintings show the use of musical instruments similar to what we see today. As many different materials are used in the manufacturing process, including leather, wood, metal, and pottery the making of musical instruments requires great skill and also a basic knowledge of music and acoustical principles.
The Indian Classical Musical system has two major traditions - Hindustani and Carnatic.
Additionally, there are several other traditions such as folk, tribal, etc. From ancient times, Indian musicians from these traditions have developed and performed with traditional and indigenous musical instruments that suited their style.
Therefore, the musical instruments of India bring along a rich heritage and form an integral part of the cultural traditions of this country.