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Music Instrument Names in Punjabi for English Readers

I live in India, and I speak Hindi, Punjabi and English. I enjoy writing about my native Indian culture.

On this page, you will find information about the names of different kinds of music instruments in the Punjabi language.

On this page, you will find information about the names of different kinds of music instruments in the Punjabi language.

When we start learning a new language, the names of various musical instruments is also an interesting category of words to learn. Here we will learn about various nouns used for commonly used musical instruments in the Punjabi language.

The Punjabi names of the musical instruments have been provided alongside their English meanings in a list to help readers learn them.

The Punjabi language is written with Gurumukhi script but the Punjabi names for the musical instruments in this article have been provided in the Roman letters for the ease of understanding of English readers.

Names of music instruments in Punjabi and English

English NamePunjabi Name

Drum

Dhol

Flute

Bansuri

Clarinet

Shahnayi

Harmonium

Harmonium

Guitar

Gitar

Drumet

Damroo

Tabor

Tabla

Harp

Veena

Conch

Shankh

Bell

Ghanti

Tembourine

Dafli

The word for music in Punjabi is Sangeet and the singers are called Gaayek or Geetkaar.

Drum

The Punjabi name for the drum is dhol.

Pronunciation advice: While pronouncing the word "dhol" in Punjabi, you should try to make the voice like you say "toll".


Cultural Significance

The drum has an important role in Punjabi culture. The Punjabi people believe all of their special events and joys should be celebrated with vigour. An intensely loud musical instrument is required for such kinds of celebrations. Nothing compares with drum in terms of sound intensity. That's why it's the first choice for them to celebrate their fun and enjoyable moments.

1. Whether this is a wedding ceremony...

2. Or a wrestling tournament, you can certainly see a drummer at the moment.

3. Even if a person completes his job and gets a retirement or a son returns from abroad (who works beyond the sea) for the first time after a long time; their homecoming is celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm by friends and family. A drummer is also invited to the event.

Flute

The name for a flute in Punjabi is bansuri.

Pronunciation guide: While saying the word "bansuri" the alphabet "a" and "u" should be silent and it should look as if you are trying to say "bnsri".

Cultural Significance

The flute is of great importance to Punjabi and the whole Indian culture. Lord Krishna of the Hindus is depicted in sculptures and decorations as having a flute in his hand. The presence of the flute may be widely felt in Punjabi songs even nowadays.

Clarinet

The word for clarinet in Punjabi language is shehnayi.

Harmonium

A harmonium is called harmonium in Punjabi.

The harmonium did not get a Hindi name because it is not a native musical instrument of India. It was first introduced into India during British rule. For this reason it is always called with the English name "harmonium" in Hindi.

Guitar

The Punjabi word for guitar is gitar.

The "guitar" as a musical instrument of its sister concerns "the harmonium" was likewise nominated in Punjabi.

Pellet Drum

The name for pellet drum in Punjabi is damaroo.

An idol of Lord Shiva depicting a pellet drum tied to the Trishula.

An idol of Lord Shiva depicting a pellet drum tied to the Trishula.

Cultural Significance

The pellet drum has been highly important in Indian culture for centuries. This is a musical instrument related to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is represented in the idols as holding a Trishula in the hand with which a pellet drum is bound to. Thus, you can see a pellet drum in many temples in India.

Tabor

The name for tabor in Punjabi is tabla.

Harp

The harp is called veena in Punjabi.

An idol of the goddess Saraswati depicting an Indian harp in the Goddess's hands.

An idol of the goddess Saraswati depicting an Indian harp in the Goddess's hands.

Cultural Significance

Harp is a true symbol of art and culture for Indian people. The reason is that because it is associated with the goddess Saraswati of Hindu faith. Goddess Saraswati is a goddess of music, art, knowledge and wisdom. She is still depicted in images and idols as holding an Indian harp in her hands.

Conch

A conch is called shankh in Punjabi.

Cultural Significance

The conch is another remarkable musical instrument in Indian culture. It served to announce the beginning of a war in ancient times. Religious texts such as Mahabharata mention different conch shells performed by the armies of Pandavas and Kaurvas to mark the beginning of the Great War. Unfortunately, a conch is also performed while taking a corpse to the morgue among the Hindu people.

Bell

The music instrument bell is called ghanti in Punjabi.

Cultural Significance

A bell can be seen in any Hindu temple in India. People rings the bell while entering the temple for worship. It is the most played instrument in India.

Tambourine

The Punjabi name for a tambourine is dafli.

8 Traditional Musical Instruments of Punjab

There are some unique musical instruments in Punjab that have been traditionally used by local artists for generations. Here are just some:

  1. Tumbi
  2. Algoja
  3. Bugchu
  4. Dhadd
  5. Iktara
  6. Sapp
  7. Sarangi
  8. Chimta

Now you will get information on these regional music instruments one by one.

1. Tumbi

Tumbi resembles a small harp composed mainly of wooden materials with metal strings attached from one end to another. A lot of Punjabi singers and artists have done laudable tasks to make it alive since the old days.

An introduction video to the Tumbi...

2. Algoja

Algoja looks like a combination in the form of a V of two flutes. It is especially played with Tumbi. It is also my personal favorite of all regional instruments.

A famous Punjabi singer(Ninja) playing the Algoja...

3. Bugchu

Bugchu is a small pellet drum form that varies slightly in shape from the latter. It has been seen by me on television in old Punjabi songs, videos and artists would play that instrument on stage performances mostly.

An artist from Punjab playing the Bugchu....

4. Dhadd

Dhadd is very similar to the Indian musical instrument Damroo or you can say pellet drum, the difference is that there are no knotted cords in this one. It is played by striking with the hands of the two sides of the instrument. Dhadd artists are called Dhaddi in Punjabi and have been very popular all over the Punjab.

A Dhaddi playing the Dhadd instrument...

5. Iktara

Iktara is a unique regional musical instrument. It differs from the Tumbi in that it contains fewer strings (The word Iktara means a single string instrument).

An introduction to the Iktara...

6. Sapp

A cross-shaped wooden structure that has movable joints which makes the structure changeable in length is called the Sapp. It is used by Punjabi dancers while carrying out the Bhangra dance.

Bhangra dancers performing Bhangra with the Sapp instrument...

7. Sarangi

Sarangi is the eastern violin. It can be seen being played in many of the Punjabi songs.

An artist performing the Sarangi instrument...

8. Chimta

Chimta or you can say tong in English (for public convenience of Western countries) has also been a popular musical instrument in Punjab. It is primarily used to give musical notes during the chanting of religious hymns that are called Bhajans in Punjabi.

A young man from Punjab playing Chimta...

It's the quiz time now!

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What is the Punjabi name for the drum?
    • Dhol
    • Ghanti
  2. What would you call a harp in Punjabi language?
    • Veena
    • Shankh
  3. A tabor is called tabla in Punjabi.
    • True
    • False
  4. Which of the following is a Punjab-specific music instrument?
    • Dhol
    • Tabla
    • Damaroo
    • Algoja

Answer Key

  1. Dhol
  2. Veena
  3. True
  4. Dhol

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Sourav Rana

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