The main secondary instrument is violin but this useful and musical instrument always had high privileged position amongst the practitioners of music. Other percussion instruments normally used in carnatic music are mridangam, a double-conical, two-headed drum, basically used for rhythmical effect. Every instrument is associated with one particular practitioner of it. Like, shehnai is associated with Bismillah Khan whereas sarangi is associated almost exclusively with Ram Narayan. The names are associated primarily because they have achieved national and international fame courtesy their talents in playing that particular instrument. Interestingly, one of the concert halls in Tehran is named after Bismillah Khan because of his proficiency with shehnai. Shehnai is most commonly heard in north Indian marriage functions.


Other famous players include, Zakir Hussain, an internationally admired tabla player. He is also credited to collaborate with several western musicians and produced many fusion recordings.   There have been many notable tabla players, but a phenomenon unto himself has been Zakir Hussain, who has also combined with various western musicians to produce many “fusion” recordings. To showcase his real talent just a single fact will suffice and that is tabla is basically an accompanying instrument but he has performed many solo performances. Shiv Kumar Sharma is renowned for his Santoor playing skills. Santoor is a Kashmiri folk instrument with more than 100 strings. He brought this instrument in the focus of classical music on the sheer strength of his talent.