National Musical Instrument of Pakistan and Provincial instruments

The national musical instrument of Pakistan is the “Tabla.” It is a pair of small hand drums employed in traditional music and is an integral part of Pakistani music culture. The tabla consists of two drums – the smaller one is called the “Dayan,” and the larger one is called the “Bayan.” The tabla is played by striking the drums with both hands, producing a rhythmic sound that can be varied in pitch and volume. Tabla is used in various musical genres in Pakistan, from classical and folk music to modern pop and rock music. It is also commonly used in religious music and ceremonies.

Origin of National Musical Instrument of Pakistan

The instrument originated before Islam, came to Iran before Sufism and became a spiritual tool. After that, the Arabs adopted this instrument and transferred it to Spain. It was then used in Europe as part of the guitar and other musical instruments. Since the 15th century, Daf has been employed in Sufi ceremonies. In the 17th century, Ottomans introduced it again. The Daf instrument is used in traditional and classical music and is considered an essential part of Persian music. Iran’s youth 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 Sufi shrines in North India. Its footprints can be traced to the Sufi saint Salar Masood Ghazi. It was considered a traditional occupation to play Daf in wars and Sufi shrines.

The Daf is a frame drum commonly used in Pakistan and the Middle East. While it is not the national musical instrument of Pakistan (that title belongs to the tabla), the Daf is still an essential instrument in Pakistani music culture.

The Daf (National Musical instrument of Pakistan) is often used in Sufi music and is a staple instrument in Sufi qawwali performances. It is also used in traditional Pakistani folk music and is a popular instrument for dance performances.

In addition to its use in music, the Daf has spiritual significance in many Sufi orders in Pakistan. It is believed to have healing properties and is often used in religious rituals and ceremonies.


Musical Instrument of Provinces in Pakistan

Pakistan has cultural diversity. Its culture is full of emotions and colors. Pakistan is enriched with artistic expressions like traditional peace, warm relations, and cultural heritage. Pakistan’s provinces express their thoughts and ideas to the whole world. Signs and remains of the instrument are traced from Mohenjo Daro and Harappa.

Types of Instrument

National Musical instrument of Pakistan

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.
  • The bow string belongs to the violin family. Sarangi, Sarinda, Taos, Siroz, and Dilruba are included in this type.
  • It is a vibration of air that includes bansuri, been, and shehnai.
  • Percussion instruments. Tabla, dhol, dholak, nagara, chimta, and tamboor are included in this type.

All regions in Pakistan have their own specialties.

Musical Instruments of Punjab

National Musical instrument of Pakistan

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

Eighty-seven folk instruments are used in Punjab, and 55 are vital to musical needs. Terrorism and technology hamper Punjabi folk music Electronics and folk instruments are mixed. Punjabi instruments are used on occasions and events to show joy and grief.

  • Algoza: This instrument is made up of two flutes that are joined. The first flute is used for melody, and the second for drone. Their close relationship binds them to each other. The player blows air continuously.
  • Dhol: Drums have a length of 48 cm and a width of 38 cm so you can measure the drum length and width. It is made of mango wood. And it is played with sticks. 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. On the inner side, a metal disc is also attached.
  • Dholki: Dholki is the smaller version of Dhol and is usually played by women.
  • Kanjari: This is a round or octagonal drum type. Its width ranges from 18 cm to 28cm cm.
  • Kato: It is a stick-like instrument with a squirrel smiling on its top. There is a cord attached to the top of the head. It produces sound with a sharp click and jingles the bells attached to its tail.
  • Dead: This instrument has a damru shape. It is also made of mango or Sheesham wood, and the body is covered with goatskin. Sound can be produced by tapping your fingers on the strings.

Musical Instruments of Sindh

National Musical instrument of Pakistan

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 pumpkins and gourds.
Some local instruments are following.

  • Burrito: This instrument is made of clay. It is considered the ancient instrument of Sindh music. It’s easy to play with children and youth use it.
  • The Dilo and Ghaghar: This instrument is also made with baking clay. Dilo is average size, and Ghaghra is bigger with a short neck called Ghagra. This instrument is made of delicate clay.
  • Chaperone or Kharrtaloon: These two instruments are paired 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 inches wide, and 3 cm thick.
  • Naqqarah: It is Arabic Naqarah in Sindhi form. It consists of an earthen bowl with strong strings open to the side. These strings are tightened on the backside of the nagara. It is played with a stick called a damka.
  • Chung or Chaan: This iron instrument has a sophisticated and melodic sound. It has a thin fork and an outer frame. Music is played by keeping the mouth closed and the jaws open.
  • Kanjhyoon or Taylor: This instrument is about 2 to 3 inches wide and composed of circular brass.
  • Duhl: The Sindhi drum is dual. It sounds long. It is played in different cultural activities and styles for various occasions.
  • Sharna: This instrument is used with the dual instrument. It has Persian origins. On 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 on the Subcontinent. Two parts make up it: upper and lower. It is played by blowing air into the murli and adjusting the fingers to the holes on the upper side of the murli.
  • Damboor of Latif: This instrument originated in Egypt. Then it moved to Persia and the Middle East. It has a chamber and a tail. The tail is called Kamach and has three steel strings.
  • Narr:This traditional instrument is used in Sindh, Balochistan. Iran and Turkey as well. It is also called a lover’s flute. Reed plants manufacture them. Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai states that: As the reed cries aloud while suffering in pain, so is the heart afflicted by love’s strain. Maulana Rumi wrote about this instrument. Take a moment to listen to the Nai story. Of separation pangs, it complains.

Musical Instruments of Balochistan

National Musical instrument of Pakistan

Balochistan, a province in Pakistan, has a rich musical heritage with various musical instruments unique to the region. Here are some examples.

  • Saroz: A stringed instrument like a lute. It has a long neck and round body and is played with a pick. It is a popular instrument among the Balochi people and used in traditional music.
  • Banjo: A stringed instrument similar to a guitar but with a shorter neck and fewer strings. It is used in Balochi and Pashtun music.
  • Dambura: A long-necked, two-stringed lute used in Balochi music.
  • Zerbaghali: A small hand-held drum used in Balochi music.
  • Sorud: A bowed string instrument like a fiddle. It is used in traditional Balochian music.

These instruments, along with others, form an essential part of Balochistan’s musical tradition. They are used in various settings, including festivals, weddings, and other celebrations, and are an integral part of the region’s culture.

Read More: Traditional Meals in Pakistan

Musical Instruments of KPK

National Musical instrument of Pakistan

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), a province in Pakistan, has a rich musical heritage with various musical instruments unique to the region. Here are some examples.

  • Rubab: A lute-like instrument with a long neck and a round body. It is played with a plectrum, a popular tool in Pashtun music.
  • Harmonium: A keyboard instrument like an organ. It is commonly used in religious music and KPK.
  • Mangal: The double-headed barrel drum is a traditional Pashtun musical instrument.
  • Tumbaknaer: A small hand-held drum used in Pashtun music.
  • Surnai: A double-reed wind instrument similar to a shawm. It is used in traditional Pashtun music.

These instruments and others form a major part of KPK’s musical tradition. They are used in various settings, including festivals, weddings, and other celebrations, and are an integral part of the region’s culture.


While Pakistan has a rich musical heritage with a diverse range of musical instruments, the national musical instrument is the tabla. However, other instruments, such as the Daf, the Rubab, and the Sitar, also hold great significance in Pakistani music and culture. They are integral to various national cultural traditions. Pakistan’s theme reflects the country’s history, culture, and diverse influences, and it continues to evolve and flourish in both traditional and modern forms.

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