Sunday, December 4, 2022


Folk Musical Instruments


Harmonium : Originally it does not belong to India but the Harmonium is now commonly seen at all cultural performances. It is used by Swangis and Bhajmis in Haryana as an accompanying instrument.

Rhythm comes naturally to man since everything in creation  moves to it. Percussion instrument keep the rhythm  of a dancer, singer or an instrumental player intact.

Dhol : This is a two-sided drum, played by two small wooden sticks. A barrel-shaped wooden drum is covered with skin on both sides. There are numerous varieties of this instrument. It is used on the occasions of marriage, festivals wrestling matches and dance-performances.

Dholak : This is a smaller version of Dhol, mostly used by the Ahirs of Gurgaon district.

Daph : This is a one sided drum and serves as accompaniment of dances particularly Dhamal dance which is popular in Mahedargarh district. It is very simple in construction  consisting of an open circular frame with only one side covered  with skin. It can be played either by hands or with small sticks. It is also used on festive occasions.

Khanjari : This is a small variety of Daph  with the only difference that the Ghungrus (bells) are fixed around it. It is generally used in a solo dance performance.

Damru : This is a very small drum, shaped like an hourglass. It is an attribute to Lord Shiva who is said to have played it during his Tandava  Nritya. It is used as an accompaniment  for devotional and ritualistic folk music especially in Gugga dance. It is also associated with Magic shows by Jugglers.

Deru : It is a bigger version of Damru but serves the same purpose.

Nagara (Naqqara ) : This is also a side drum but heavy and large in size and rests on the ground while playing. Its body is made of copper. It is played with two large sticks. It is a relic of feudal times when state announcements were made with the beat of the Nagara.

Taasha : This is a one sided earthen instrument played by two small sticks. It is used on ceremonial occasions and some times also on the occasion of dance performances.

Jhil : This is a smaller version of Nagara and is played with small sticks. It is also played on the left side of the Nagara. It is really a part of Nagara  like a pair of Tabla. 

Ghara : This earthen pitcher is the cheapest instrument played on different occasions to keep only the rhythm.

Cymbals : These are two big round pieces of bronze which produce metallic sound during a dance and other occasions.

Bells : These are used generally in temples during aaratis, kirtans and other devotional performances.

Ghungrus : These are worn by dancers around his or her ankles to give force and effect to the dance. It also helps in producing the rhythm.

Khartal : These are small Ghungrus fixed on two small wooden pieces and are struck together to keep the rhythm according to the tempo of other instruments.

Manjira : This is a pair of metallic cymbals used for producing rhythm. It produces a pleasant sound and is used mostly as accompaniment to devotional music and more frequently during dance performances. It is also used by Jogis  of 'Naath Parampara' during their prayers.