National Musical Instrument of Pakistan and Provincial instruments

Daf is commonly known as the national instrument of Pakistan. It is an instrument of an Iranian frame drum. The word Daf is taken from the Persian language.

national instrument of pakistan

It is traditionally a folk instrument called Daffali and doesn’t have any attachment of any metal to produce jingling sound.

Origin of National Musical Instrument of Pakistan-Daf

The instrument originated before the existence of Islam, then it came to Iran before Sufism and became the spiritual tool. After that, Arabs adopted this instrument and transferred it to Spain. Spain then used it in guitar and other musical instruments in Europe. From the 15th-century, Daf has been used in Sufi ceremonies. In the 17th century, it was again introduced by the Ottomans. The Daf instrument is used as traditional and classical music and is considered an essential part of Persian music. The youth of Iran is highly interested in learning this ancient instrument. Now its footprints can be traced to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

Use of National Musical instrument of Pakistan-Daf

The instrument was traditionally used in wars and marriages in ancient times. It is also played in the Sufi shrines in North India. Its footprints can be traced from the Sufi saint Salar Masood Ghazi. It was taken as a traditional occupation to play Daf in wars and in Sufi shrines.

Musical Instrument of Provinces in Pakistan

 Pakistan has cultural diversity. Its culture is full of emotions and colors. The Pakistani nation is enriched with cultural expressions like traditional peace, warm relations, and cultural heritage. Each province of Pakistan expresses its thoughts and ideas to the whole world. Signs and remains of the instrument are traced from the ruins of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa.

Types of Instrument

 Four types of instruments are traced, which are


  • Plucked strings belong to the flute family; Sitar, Rubab, sarod, tambura, and dambora are included in this type.
  • Bowed string belongs to the violin family  Sarangi, Sarinda, Taos, Siroz, Dilruba are included in this type.
  • Wind belongs to the vibration of air bansuri, been, and shehnai are included in this type.
  • Percussion instrument. Tabla, dhol, dholak, nagara, chimta, and tamboor are included in this type.

All the regions in Pakistan have their instrument specialties.

Musical Instruments of Punjab

The Punjab region reflects the diversification of music styles. It includes pop, folk, traditional and classical music. It has different songs for various events like birth, marriages, festivals; it includes death and religious ceremonies.

In Punjab, 87 folk instruments are used, and from which 55 instruments are being served a vital role to fulfill the musical necessity. Terrorism and technology created hurdles in Punjabi folk music. Electronics and folk instruments are mixed.

Following are the Punjabi instruments that are used on the occasions and events to show joy and grieves.

  • Algoza

This instrument is made up of two flutes that are joined. The first flute is used for melody and the second one is for the drone. Both the flutes are tied closely with each other. The player blows air for the continuous flow.

  •  Dhol

The length of the drum is 48 cm, and the width of the drum is 38 cm. It is made of mango wood. And is played with the sticks. Usually, males play this instrument.

  • China

The chiasmata are 122 cm long iron strips. This strip is bent in the middle, and a ring set is attached to it. On the inner side, a metal disc is also attached.

  •  Dholki

Dholki is the small version of dhol and is usually played by women.

National Instrument of Pakistan


This is a type of drum that is round or octagonal. Its width ranges from 18cm to 28 in diameter.

  •  Kato

It is a stick-like instrument with a squirrel galad on its top. There is a cord attached at the top of the head. It produces sound with a sharp click and jingles the bells which are attached to its tail. 

  • Dead

This instrument has a damru shape. It is also made of mango wood or Sheesham wood, and the body is covered with goatskin. Sound can be produced by tapping fingers on the strings.

Musical Instruments of Sindh

Sindh province is commonly known as a natural environment like the water wheel, and moving bullock carts symbolize village life. This instrument reflects raw materials such as wood, clay, and reed. It also reflects different kinds of pumpkin and gourd.

Some local instruments are following.

  •  Burrito 

This instrument is made up of clay. It is considered the ancient instrument of Sindh music. It’s easy to play with children and is commonly used by youth.

  • The Dilo and Ghaghar 

This instrument is also made with baking clay. Dilo is of average size, and Ghaghra is the bigger one with a short neck called Ghagra. This instrument is made of delicate clay.

  • Chaperone or Kharrtaloon 

These two instruments are paired together with wooden pieces. These are flapped together on the one hand. These open and close to produce beats and rhythms. These instruments are 6 inches long and 1 ½ inch in width, and 3 cm in thickness.


  • Narr

This traditional instrument is used in Sindh, Balochistan. Iran and Turkey as well. It is also called a lover’s flute. A reed plant manufactures it.

Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai states that:

As the reed cries aloud while suffering in pain, So is the heart afflicted in love’s strain.

Maulana Rumi states about this instrument:

Listen to the Nai what story it’s telling, Of the pangs of separation it’s complaining.

  • Naqqarah

It is the Arabic Naqarah in the Sindhi form. It consists of an earthen bowl that has strong strings open to the side. These strings are tightened at the backside of the naqara. It is played with a stick called damka.

  • Chung or Chaan

This is an iron instrument that has a sophisticated and melodic sound. It has a thin fork and an outer frame. Music is played by keeping the frame within lips and keeping the jaws open.

  • Kanjhyoon or Taylor

This instrument is about 2 to 3 inches in diameter and is in a pair of circular brass.

  • Duhl 

Sindhi drum is called dual. It sounds longer. It is played in different cultural activities and different styles on various occasions.


  • Sharna 

This instrument is used along with the dual instrument. It has a Persian origin. In the Subcontinent, it was also called shehnai. It is made from Kirarr wood, and the sounding device is made from kangaroo reed.

  • Durango

This instrument originated from Persian and is now commonly known in Sindh and Balochistan.

  • Murli

It was commonly used in the Subcontinent. It is divided into two parts: the upper part and the lower part. It is played by blowing air into the murli and adjusting the fingers on the holes of the upper side of the murli.

  • Damboor of Latif 

This instrument originated in Egypt. Then it moved towards Persia and the Middle East. It has a chamber and a tail. The tail is known as Kamach and has three strings that are made of steel.

Musical Instruments of Balochistan

Suarez is a musical instrument of Balochistan. It is a bowed string instrument having a long neck. It resembles sarangi, but it is played vertically. It is also considered a national instrument of Balochistan.

Musical Instruments of KPK

Musical instruments of KPK are

  • Rubab 

Rubab is a lute-like musical instrument. It originated from central Afghanistan and Pakistan. The structure of the rubab is a short-necked lute. Its body is carved with wood And has a membrane, which covers the hollow bowl of the sound chamber. The bridge is located upon the bowl of the instrument.

  • Sitar 

  • Tabla  

  • Harmonium 

  • Flute 

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