Instrumental music is a crucial element in overall scheme of music culture. It is not only a crucial part is any kind of music but also works independently on its own. The success of several instrumental music CDs and cassettes bear testimony to the popularity of this form of music. Musical instruments have always been an integral element of Hindustani as well as Carnatic music. Hindustani or North Indian music places a great emphasis on right use and combination of instruments. The most popular musical instruments in Hindustani music are; either the sitar or sarod. Sitar is basically a long-necked fretted lute whereas sarod is a plucked lute without the frets. Sarod also has a shorter neck compared to sitar. There are several other stringed instruments the likes of which include surbahar and sarangi. Surbahar is quite similar to sitar except the size element whereas sarangi is a short-necked bowed lute.
There are other types of instruments as well and none of them more impressive and appealing that wind instruments. Shehnai and Bansuri are the major wind instruments. Shehnai is without keys whereas Bansuri is played from the side and it is basically a bamboo flute. Bansuri has almost six to seven holes used for playing different music. Whenever a Hindustani music concert is played, few other musical instruments are also played apart from the above mentioned ones. Tabla is known for providing rhythmic complement whereas Tanpura gives drone. Tabla is basically a pair of small drums and is played using both hands.