India has a lot of different cultures, so that it would seem to have different countries in it. All the same, it has an array of musical instruments that are as colorful as their diversity. Here is a list of some of the most popular types of Indian musical instruments that you might want to familiarize yourself with before buying one in the local or discount store. Sometimes it doesn't matter if it is cheap or expensive, so long as you know which one it is you like the best. It is advised that you look at pictures of these instruments as well to get a better idea of what they look like.
- Harmonium. If we have pianos as a common sight in our households, the harmonium is the most common instrument in Indian homes. The harmonium is like a little piano, but instead of strings, it produces sound with the use of wind that is pumped out through a set of pedals. There are many variations of this instrument, and each has its unique set of notes it can play, and some are used in religious ceremonies.
- Mridangam. Is a drum that can be strummed on both sides. One side is wider than the other side, and it is played lying on its side so that both hands can hit both sides. Like string instruments, this drum is tuned by adjusting the straps that are wrapped around its body.
- Shehnai. This one looks something similar to a flute with the snout of a trumpet. Its main body is made of wood and painted in different colors, but the snout is made of metal and can have intricate designs as well. The Indians have a strong belief that it brings good fortune, so they use it often during weddings.
- Sitar. If you are familiar with the banjo, the sitar looks something like that, only bigger. Just make the neck longer, add more strings, and curve the frets. Unlike the guitar that has a hole in the middle where you strum it, the sitar doesn't. Its main body is closed, but because of this structure, it produces quite a different sound than most instruments of its kind.
- Tabla. This one is pretty much like the bongos, with one drum smaller and the other drum bigger and played quite the same way. You use different parts of your hands in hitting these drums to create different kinds of sounds. There are also different techniques in hitting the drum to create different effects.
- Tanpura. This is said to be the counterpart of the sitar, like the alto to a soprano. It is bigger than the sitar, but its components are quite the same. It is said that when there is a presentation, it is never complete without the presence of the tanpura.
There are other types of musical instruments in India you can choose from. It must be noted that these instruments work together to produce harmony. In the country of countries, there also belongs a world full of instruments. If Indian music tickles your fancy, have a try and experience a whole different world.