10 Ancient Musical Instruments On the Verge of Extinction


10 Ancient Musical Instruments On the Verge of Extinction

Many musical instruments are now forgotton
Forgotten musical instruments that face extinction

The musical heritage of our country is as old as our civilization. The genre of Indian music can be broadly divided into Hindustani Classical from the North and Carnatic music from the South. Comes with them is a rich repertoire of forgotten musical instruments, many of which sadly face extinction.

  • Rudra-Veena: This instrument is made of wood or bamboo carved hollow with strings attached to it, producing subtle music.

ancient musical instrument                                         The Rudra Veena is synonymous with Goddess Saraswati

  • Morchang: A variation of the Harp, this is a wind-percussion instrument. It is played using one’s mouth and left hand. 

musical instrument that have felt the ravages of time                               Morchang-A variation of the Jew’s Harp                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

  • Mayuri: True to its name, it resembles a peacock. It consists of sixteen frets, four melody strings, and fifteen sympathetic strings and was a favorite of court-musicians.


      This musical instrument was popular in courts
      Mayuri is one of the most beautiful instruments

    • Yazh: This ancient instrument was really popular in Tamil music and finds mention in ancient literature. It is played using both the hands.

      Yazh is a variation of the harp
      Yazh is considered to be the predecessor to the Veena

    • Sarangi: The playing strings of this bowed instrument are made from goat-gut and the body is usually made from a single block of wood.

      Although it has been forgotten of late, it is not extinct
      Ustad Sultan Khan was one of Sarangi’s finest proponents

    • Bulbul Tarang: It was a popular instrument in the Northern part of undivided India. It is a variation of the Japanese taishōgoto.

      mucical instruments
      It means ‘waves of nightingales’ and is a variant of the Banjo

    • Esraj/Dilruba: They are string instruments, varying slightly with the regions they are played in. Dilruba was popular in the Northern and Central part of the Indian sub-continent and Esraj in the east.

      Dilruba is truly the ‘heart stealer’, popular in Sikh music

    • Ejuk Tapung: A folk instrument from Assam, it is made from Tita Lau, an inedible bitter gourd. It is similar to the snake-charmer’s flute in appearance.

      It is made of a bitter gourd
      Ejuk Tapung is used by the Mishing Tribe of Assam

    • Pena: This lute-category instrument is from Manipur and is the traditional musical instrument of the ‘Meitei’ community.

      This is used mainly by the Meitei community
      Pena is an integral part of Manipuri music

    • Nagfani: This wind instrument is shaped like a serpent and is popular in the Uttarakhand region.

      Nagfani is almost extinct now.
      The Nagfani was really popular with Sadhus

    If due care is not taken to revive the rich and ancient musical instruments, this list will only get longer.



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