Musical Instruments of Western India form an indispensable part of Indian music. Since time immemorial, they have played a vital role in augmenting the charm of different genres of music. Over years, different states of western India have developed a variety of musical instruments belonging to different categories like stringed instruments, percussion instruments, woodwind instruments etc. Earlier these instruments were manufacture with wood, animal skin, bones and other natural substances but later combination of synthetic materials was also introduced to improve their sound and durability.
Musical Instruments of Gujarat
Gujarat houses a variety of music instruments that enrich the Indian music. Sundari is a double reed wind instrument. It is mostly played by the Langa community of Kutch. Bhorrindo is an ancient instrument that accompanies the folk music of the state. It resembles a clay ball having few holes of different sizes to produce sounds. Surando is another stringed instrument of Kutch region of Gujarat. Morchang is popular among the shepherd community and is mostly played along with the folk music of Kutch. Kani is another reed instrument, common in the state. Jodia Pawa is a pair of flutes having same length. It is also popular among the shepherds of the dessert area. Another musical instrument of the state is Ghado or Ghaghar which is a baked earthen jar. It is played along with Surando.
Musical Instruments of Goa
A number of musical instruments have evolved in Goa which accompanies the traditional music of the state. Ghumot is a percussion instrument which is basically an earthen vessel with leather mounted on one open end. It is an integral part of folk and religious music of Goa. Tambura is a stringed instrument which produces beautiful melodies. It comes in different sizes and is played with folk as well as classical music. Mridanga is another percussion design. It is a two headed drum made of terracotta. It is a great accompaniment in devotional music. Tabla comprises of a pair of hand drums of different sizes and produces different sounds. Extensive use of hands and palms is required in playing of Tabla. Apart from this other instruments of Goa include dhol, kasale, madlem, surt, shehnai, nagado, tasso, mandolin, violin and piano.
Many of the musical instruments are exclusively played with different genres of music like devotional, religious, folk or contemporary. Although Musical Instruments of Western India have undergone numerous transformations, a number of ancient instruments are still used with certain forms of Indian music. Be it classical or contemporary, these instruments greatly enrich the aura of the songs. They also form an essential part of the cultural heritage of India.