10 Ancient Musical Instruments On the Verge of 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.
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.
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.
Yazh: This ancient instrument was really popular in Tamil music and finds mention in ancient literature. It is played using both the hands.
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.
Bulbul Tarang: It was a popular instrument in the Northern part of undivided India. It is a variation of the Japanese taishōgoto.
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.
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.
Pena: This lute-category instrument is from Manipur and is the traditional musical instrument of the ‘Meitei’ community.
Nagfani: This wind instrument is shaped like a serpent and is popular in the Uttarakhand region.
If due care is not taken to revive the rich and ancient musical instruments, this list will only get longer.