Musical Instruments in Gurmat Sangeet
Rabab, pakhawaj, and rhythmic ankle-bells play the Unstruck (celestial) music, (Guru Arjan)
Saaj is a Punjabi word commonly used to refer to musical Instruments.
Right from the Vedic times, musical instruments were used in India. Ancient sculptures and temples show different kinds of drums, whistles, flutes, harps, gongs, and bells. During the many following centuries, these rough instruments were developed and refined into the forms in which we see them today. Some of the instruments are now decorated with ivory, silver, gold and peacock-feathers. Some of the instruments have facilities for playing delicate gamaks. Musical instruments are made by skilled craftsmen who have knowledge of musical sounds. The important towns where these instruments are manufactured are Lucknow, Rampur, Madras, and Tanjore.
Nowadays, many musical instruments are used, as for example, tampura, sitar, harmonium,
sarangi, sarod, been, bansari, flute, tabla, pakhawaj, mridanga, dholak, etc. Some of the
instruments are of foreign origin, but Indians have adopted them, as for example harmonium
clarionet. Musical instruments perform one or more of the following functions: (a) to give
rhythm, (b) to provide that tonic note in the form of a drone, and (c) to accompany the
point by point . These instruments can be divided into two categories: svaravad (note
instruments), and tal vad (rhythm instruments). The first category of instruments are those
produce svaras (notes) e.g. sitar, sarod, bansari, harmonium, etc. Tal vad includes those
instruments which produce rhythm, e.g. tabla, mridanga, pakhawaj, cymbals, etc.
(1) Tat vad (stringed
(2) Sushir vad (wind
(3) Avanad vad (leather or
(4) Ghan vad (idiophones).