and Arjun"s bow Gandeeva which demoralized the enemy camp as described
in the Ramayana and the Mahabharat, respectively, lend credence to this
conclusion. It is so believed that inspired by this particular sound, the design
and shape of the bowed instruments used by primitive tribes were later
Discovery of various types of crude drums and other musical instruments
from pre-historic excavated sites indicates the prevalence in the use of music
and musical instruments during these times. For example, many kinds of
musical instruments mainly made of bamboo, bone and animal skins and
bearing close resemblance to modern veena and mridangam from excavations
at the Indus Valley sites have revealed their use and knowledge about them.
Many Greaco–Buddhist sculptures belonging to the period 5th Century BC to
2nd Century AD also mentioned a wealth of string, wind and percussion
According to Bharatha’s Natyasastra, there are four classes of musical
instruments: Tata or Tantu (stringed), Avanaddha (percussion or drums),
Ghana (bells, cymbals and gongs), and Sushira (wind). Despite some
variations in classifications that have been proposed over the centuries, the
system of Bharatha is still accepted till date. The classes of instruments are
divided as: 1. Ghana Vadya (Idiophones) 2. Avanaddha Vadya
(Membranophones) 3. Sushira Vadya (Aerophones) 4. Tata Vadya
Flute, nadaswaram, veena, gootuvadhyam, thavil, mridangam and plain
drum are known ancient Indian musical instruments. Harmonium, sarod,
shehnai, sitar, tabla and violin are musical instruments of foreign origin
adopted in Indian music. Veena, flute, mridangam, ghatam, chenda,
maddalam, edakka, nadaswaram, khunjira, tambura, gottuvadhyam, thalam
and the morsing (or mukha veena) are popular Carnatic musical instruments.
Violin is also popular in Carnatic music concerts.
Ali Akbar Khan (b.1922) is one of the greatest Sarod players of all times.
He is also adept in playing other instruments like the Pakhawaj and Tabla.