Musical Instruments in the North Indian Tradition
Youtube documentary: here
Although Hindustani music clearly is focused on the vocal performance, instrumental forms have existed since ancient times. In fact, in recent decades, especially outside South Asia, instrumental Hindustani music is more popular than vocal music, partly due to a somewhat different style and faster tempo, and partly because of a language barrier for the lyrics in vocal music.
A number of musical instruments are associated with Hindustani classical music. The veena, a string instrument, was traditionally regarded as the most important, but few play it today and it has largely been superseded by its cousins the sitar and the sarod, both of which owe their origin to Persian influences. Other plucked or struck string instruments include the surbahar, sursringar, santoor, and various versions of the slide guitar. Among bowed instruments, the sarangi, esraj and violin are popular. The bansuri, shehnai and harmonium are important wind instruments. In the percussion ensemble, the tabla and the pakhavaj are the most popular. Various other instruments have also been used in varying degrees.