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Region: Jammu & Kashmir
Prominent Musical Instruments: Damian, Damman, Santoor, Sitar, Tumbaknari

Ladakh , Kashmir and Jammu have their distinct and rich repertoire of instrumental music. The instrumental music in Ladakh has a distinct and is called "Byang", but it is not a part of the vocal tradition as in other parts of the state. The prominent musical instruments are: -


It is a six stringed guitar like instrument, popular with nomadic people of Tibetan origin living in Ladakh. 'Da' means sound and 'Mian' means sweet.


Damman is a set of two kettledrums called "Fo" and "Mo", meaning male and female. Fo has a hole under it so that water could be poured into it to produce a heavy, deep sound. They are played with small sticks called "Damshing". Damman provides a deep pulsating, resonant beat and is played with dances and songs in Ladakh.


Surna is a musical instrument that belongs to the ancient 'Shehnai' family of India.


Skaling is a joint double flute.


Santoor is a hundred stringed instrument, considered to be the "Vena of Kashmir". It is played by striking the strings with two curved small sticks called "Kalam".


The Kashmiri Sitar has a long body and seven playing strings. These strings are struck with 'Mizrab' and sweet notes are produced.


This Surahi shaped earthen instrument is used for every singing occasion in Kashmir. 'Nari' in Kashmiri is an earthen pot. Tumbknari has everything common with 'Irani Tumakh', except its body. It provides a fascinating dimension to Kashmiri folk music, especially in the Roff musical performances.


Ransingha is an "S" shaped, huge windpipe played in the Jammu region with some dances and songs of religious import.


Dahara is a long iron rod, supporting bronze or iron rings that are controlled by the movement of the hands. Ladi Shah - the bard of Kashmir, sings satirical songs on it.


Saranda is a stringed instrument like the Indian 'Sarangi' and is played with a bow. It is used by the 'Jogis' (saints) in Jammu.


Saz-e-Kashmir has a round, decorated wooden body pasted with parchment and is played with a bow. It has three main gut strings and on either side two sets of sympathetic strings is mounted.


Noot is a common earthen pitcher used to give a rhythmic beat in singing in the Kashmir valley.


King is the most fascinating folk instrument of Jammu has a long round wooden bar with two gourd resonators placed vertically on it. King is played while singing folk songs and "Karkan", which are ballads having religious themes.


Rabab is also very popular string instrument used in singing Chhakari and Sufiana Kalam in Kashmir Valley. It has a deep, hollow wooden body serving as a resonator. Rabab is played by plucking strings and pressing them at different scales.


There are numerous other musical instruments too in the state of J&K state such as Daph, Diwang (fiddle), Dingjam, Bugjal (cymbals), Gling-Liu, Sgra-Snyan, Kon Kon in Ladakh; Dukkar, Swarnari in Kashmir; Chmta, Gharah, Talli, Hauns, Algoza, Tooti, in Jammu.

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