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  Indian music - a brief introduction

There are 2 main traditional classical forms of music Carnatic (South Indian) and Hindustani (North Indian). There are also some semi classical styles and various regional folk music styles. The modern so called “Bollywood” style is a broad genre where Indian music is mixed with various western modern genres. doesn’t do the classical music but rather modern contaminated Indian music.

  Some of the Indian musical Instruments

  Bansuri- Indian Bamboo flute

is an ancient transverse Indian bamboo flute with 6-8 holes. It can range in size from about 20 cm to over a metre. The longer ones occupy the lower frequency ranges. A Bansuri session musician usually carries a suitcase full of Bansuris with different frequency ranges and tonal qualities. Check out its lovely sound in the player on the right


The sitar is probably the most famous Indian instrument. It has 21-23 strings out of which 6-7 strings are played.. The rest are sympathetic strings which give the sitar its distinctive resonating sound. The frets are movable. The strings need to be tuned based on the raga and the key of the song. Listen to a sitar sample on the right.


is a popular Indian percussion instrument. It consists of a pair of hand drums played with a unique style which requires a lot of training. The bigger drum is called the Dagga or Bayan and the smaller drum is called the Dayan. The Smaller drum is usually tuned to the key of the song or to the fifth note. It comes in different sizes for different keys and a session musician would usually carry 2 or 3 of these. Check out how a tabla sounds in the player on the right.


Veena (Saraswathi Veena) is an ancient south Indian lute. It is used in South Indian Carnatic music. It has 4 playing strings and 3 drone strings and has 24 fixed frets. Veena is a general term for a stringed instrument but in South India the word Veena has come to denote the Saraswathi Veena. Listen to the sample in the player to hear its sound.


Dilruba is a rare Indian bowed stringed instrument with sympathetic strings for resonance. It is very similar to the Esraj. They are difficult to tell apart. It has an exotic sound and is extrememly rare. Check out its exotic sound on the right.


Mridangam is an ancient Indian double sided hand drum used in Carnatic music. There is a bass side and a higher pitched side. The higher pitched side is tuned to the key or to the fifth note. The complex rhythms in Carnatic music are played on the mridangam. Hear the wonderful sound of the Mridangam

  Other Instrument Samples

Konnakol is the art of performing percussion syllables in South Indian Carnatic music. It is similar to Bol in North Indian Hindustani music.
Dhoulak is an Indian folk percussion instrument used together with tabla on many modern songs.

  Other Collaborators

  Samson at 7th Sound Studio

   Samson at the 7th Sound studio has collaborated on most of the productions here in various roles.
   A special thanks to the talented music director, studio owner and my friend Prem Joseph.

  Backing Vocals

Backing vocals is a vital ingredient of most of productions. Maxyn and Samcy have lent their voices to many of the productions here and elsewhere in India.

  Indian Session Musicians

     Why not add some real Indian instruments to your songs and make it unique? can help you get a great session musicians, playing any of the instruments listed on the left, to play on your recordings at modest prices. Some of these musicians play regularly for the Bollywood industry. Please contact for prices and information.

  Useful links

  Instrument Samples

Track 1. "Psalm 10 p1" from the "Psalms revisited" album Bansuri played by Nathan
Track 2. "He is my God-2" from the "New Land" album Sitar played by Robert
Track 3. "Vanjikkiren" from the "Senaigalin Karthar" album, Veena played by Devi
Track 4. "Vanjikkiren" from the "Senaigalin Karthar" album, Veena (Devi) followed by Konnakol and Mridangam (Venkat) followed by Bansuri flute (Nathan)
Track 5. "Snake Alert" from the "New Land" album, Dilruba played by Bharathi
Track 6. "Psalm 8" from the "Psalms revisited" album, Konnakol and Tabla by Christian
Track 7. Tabla Sample alone by Christian
Track 8. Mridangam Sample alone by Venkat
Track 9. Dhoulak Sample alone by Swaminathan

For info about Josiah's own albums please visit