The simple earthen pitcher serves as a musical instrument
in a number of folk songs. The Garah player strikes
its sides with rings worn on fingers of one hand and also
plays on its open mouth with the other hand to produce a distinct
Toomba is a famous folk instrument of Punjab, which
is entirely based on Iktara (single stringed instrument),
used by the legend singers. Now it's been adopted by a number
of Punjabi folk singers. Toomba is made of wooden sticks mounted
with a Toomba or wooden resonator covered with skin. A metallic
string is passed on a resonator over a bridge and tied to
the key at the end of the stick. The string is struck with
a finger or sometimes with the Mizrab, and the Swaras
are made by pressing the string to the stick.
Dhol is a favourite folk instrument of Punjab. It is
a percussion instrument, which is used not only at male dance
performances but also during social rituals and festive celebrations.
The drummer is called Dholi or Bharaj. The dhol
is a barrel-shaped wooden drum with a mounted skin on both
sides. It is played with two different types of wooden sticks.
The skin on either side is tightened at a different pitch.
Dhad is a small percussion instrument of the Damru
style. Held in one hand, it is struck on either side, with
the other hand holding the skinned sides vertically or horizontally.
This instrument has been very popular with the Dhadies,
who sing traditional ballads of brave warriors and heroes
drawn from history.
This is a percussion twang-type instrument used in Punjab
and neighbouring areas. The tradition of playing it with songs
goes back to the Naths or Jogis. This instrument
consists of two long, flat pieces of iron with pointed ends,
and rings mounted on it. The joint is held in one hand, while
the two parts are struck with each other to produce tinkling
sounds. Chimta has become popular in professional singing
and devotional music in temples.
Sarangi is a popular bowed instrument
in Punjab. It is wooden instrument about two feet long, cut
from a single log covered with parchment. A bridge is placed
in the middle. The sides of the Sarangi are pinched so as
to bow it. The instrument usually has three major strings
of varying thickness, and the fourth string is made of brass,
used for drone. Modern sarangis contain 35-40 sympathetic
strings running under the main strings. This is used for accompaniment
by artists and is an ideal instrument for producing all types
of Gamks and Meends.
This is a stringed instrument made of dried
gourd (Ghia). A piece of skin is mounted on one side
of the hollowed gourd while the other side is kept open. A
gut string (Tand) is crossed through the centre of
the skin and a small piece of wood is tied to the end of the
string, which passes through the body of the gourd. To maintain
a drum-like rhythm, the string is stretched or loosened while
Algoza consists of a pair of wooden flutes. It is also
called Jori (a pair) and is played by one person using
only three fingers on each side. Folk singers of Punjab use
this in their traditional legend singing like Mirza,
Chhalla, Jugni etc. The instrument is also used as
accompaniment with folk dances.