The most popular and used instrument in North Indian or Hindustani music is generally either the sitar which has a long-neck fret lute, or the sarod. Later one is a plucked lute sans any frets and it also has a relatively shorter neck than the sitar. There are several other stringed instruments as well which are heavily used in this genre of music. The list includes Surbahar, similar to sitar albeit a bit larger and sarangi, another short-necked bowed lute.


Hindustani music also uses several wind instruments like Bansuri and Sehnai. Bansuri is a flute made of bamboo and it is played using holes in its side. It has approximately six or seven holes which are blown from the side and that action produces that magical sound. Whereas Sehnai has no keys and it is played straight up by blowing it from the top. Other notable instruments are Tabla and Tanpura. Tabla is sort of small drums, in a pair. These two combined with other mentioned instruments provide that soothing music in any concert. All of them have this rhythmic connection with each other.


Talking about Carnatic music or South Indian music, most used instrument is Vina. It has seven strings and a long neck with fretted plucked lute. In carnatic music Bansuri and Sehnai is replaced by Vina and Nagaswaram respectively. Nagaswaram is a double reed instrument with finger holes.