In instrumental music Bengal has produced great masters in the
Sitar, the Sarod and the Esray. The great teacher, late Ustad Alauddin
Khan has developed the art of the flute into the first rank for the exposition
of classical music. The' modern' style has pressed into service the guitar,
the violin cello and other musical gadgets of western origin. The portable
box harmonium, which evolved in Calcutta about eight decades back is ubiquitous
despite the frowns of orthodox classicists. For concert music the violin,
the clarinets and the cornet are extensively used. Some itinerant rural
singers also use the fiddle for accompaniment. The Bauls use the ektara
and the dotara, bayan (percussion) and ankle-bells. The wealthy traditionally
call for naabat consisting of the sehnai and nakkara (percussion) for
auspicious ceremonies. In major public celebration like the Durga Puja
the instruments of choice are the Jaidhak (major Indian drum) and the
Kansi (brass gong) played in a variety of rhythmus and time measures.
The khol and cymbals are the invariable accompaniment for Kirtan music.