Bansuri and venu are common Indian flutes. They are typically made of bamboo or reed. There are two varieties; transverse and fipple. The transverse variety is nothing more than a length of bamboo with holes cut into it. This is the preferred flute for classical music because the embouchure gives added flexibility and control. The fipple variety is found in the folk and filmi styles, but seldom used for serious music. This is usually considered to be just a toy because the absence of any embouchure limits the flexibility of the instrument. The flute may be called many things in India: bansi, bansuri, murali, venu and many more. There are two main types; bansuri and venu. The bansuri is used in the North Indian system. It typically has six holes, however there has been a tendency in recent years to use seven holes for added flexibility and correctness of pitch in the higher registers. It was previously associated only with folk music, but today it is found in Hindustani classical, filmi, and numerous other genre. Venu is the south Indian flute and is used in the Carnatic system. It typically has eight holes. The venu is very popular in all south Indian styles.


The bommbanshi or Bombashi is a fipple flute found in Bangladesh. It is used in a variety of folk music, such as the vaoiaya (bhawaia) and the accompaniment of traditional folk theatre. This special type of flute is a necessary accompaniment for a local folk theatre "Poddopuran". In folktheatrePoddopuran the flute bommbanshi is an important musical instrument. This instrument does not have a wide distribution. Where some instruments may be found throughout south Asia, the bombashi is found only in the Dharla (A.K.A. Dhorla, Dhola) river basin area of Bangladesh. At the time of writing (2007), a total of only seven Bommbanshi players could be found in this region.

The harmonium is also known as peti or baja. This instrument is not a native Indian instrument. It is a European instrument which was imported in the 19th century. It is a reed organ with hand pumped bellows. Although it is a relatively recent introduction, it has spread throughout the subcontinent. Today, it is used in virtually every musical genre except the south Indian classical. Although this is a European invention, it has evolved into a truly bi-cultural instrument. The keyboard is European, but it has a number of drone reeds which are particularly Indian. European models came in both hand pumped and foot pumped models. The foot pumped models disappeared in India many years ago. This is because the foot pedals required one to sit in a chair; something which is unusual for an Indian musician. Also the only advantage of the foot model was that it freed both hands so that both melody and chords could be played. Indian music has no chords, so this was no advantage. Although the hand pumped models required one hand to pump they were more portable and comfortable when played on the floor. There is an instrument which is very similar to the harmonium, but it has no keys. It therefore, is incapable of playing a melody and must merely play adrone. This is called a surpeti. (USES WIND BY MEANS OF PUMPING)


The mukhavina is a smaller version of the nadaswaram, usually only about a foot and a half in length. like the nadaswaram it is played in south India but it is more common in folk music. Curiously the name "mukhavina" literally translates to "mouth - vina"


Nadaswaram is a South Indian version of the shehnai. It is also called nagaswaram. It is substantially larger than the shehnai and has a simple double reed rather than the more complex quadruple reed. It is considered a very auspicious instrument and is found at temples and at weddings. It is normally accompanied by a sur peti, ottu, and a tavil. There is a smaller version of the nadaswaram which is played in folk music and is known mukhavina.


The ottu is a south Indian drone instrument. It is very similar to the nadaswaram or the shehnai in construction. It is usually somewhat longer than thenadaswaram. It has a bell, usually of metal like the shehnai. It has four or five holes, which are not fingered but merely occluded with wax to bring the instrument to the correct pitch (shruti). This instrument does not play a melody, but merely provides the drone for temple ensembles composed ofnadaswaram and tavil.


Pungi or Bin is the snake charmer's instrument. The word "Bin" has always been somewhat problematic. The term "bin" is a very common corruption of the Sanskrit word "Vina". However the term bin/vina implies a stringed instrument. It is more likely that the term "Bin" is a corruption of the Sanskrit "Venu" (i.e., bamboo) which would clearly place this instrument in the class shared by flutes. The pungi is typically one to two feet in length. It consists of two reeds or bamboo tubes. One of which is for the melody and the other is for the drone. These are attached to a larger cavity made of gourd or coconut. Inside of which are two reeds. These reeds vibrate when air is passed over them.


Shankh is a conch shell. This instrument has a strong association with the Hindu religion. It is said that when it is blown it announces the victory of good over evil. This instrument has limited musical applications.


The shehnai is a north Indian oboe. Although it is referred to as a double-reeded instrument it is actually a quadruple-reed instrument. This is because it has two upper reeds and two lower reeds. The instrument has a wooden body with a brass bell. The reed is attached to a brass tube which is wrapped in string. The shehnai has eight holes but it is common to find some of the holes partially or completely occluded with wax. The sound of the shehnai is considered particularly auspicious. For this reason it is found in temples and is an indispensable component of any North Indian wedding. In the past, shehnaiwas part of the naubat or traditional ensembles of nine instruments found at royal courts. This instrument is a close relative of the nadaswaram found in south Indian music.


The surpeti, also called swar pethi, swar peti, swarpeti, surpeti, sur peti, sruti box, or shruti box, is an Indian drone instrument. It is a small box whose only function is to provide the drone. There are two, basic forms, one is manual and the other is electronic. The manual surpeti is similar to the harmonium. It is a small free reed organ. However unlike the harmonium, it has no keys, and can play no melody. It is pumped by some small bellows with the hand. In the last few decades, the electronic versions have become very popular. The electronic ones have evolved considerably over the last few years. Original versions were simple analogue devices that tended to drift and were unreliable. However, advances in digital technology have brought them to a very high level of reliability. Today, it is even common for them to give the sounds and character of the tambura. Such versions are even commonly referred to as "electronic tamburas". Although the surpeti is common throughout India, their usage differs considerably. Hindustani musicians will regularly use them in practice but usually would not consider bringing them onto the stage. This is in contrast to Carnatic musicians who very regularly use them in stage performances. (USES WIND BY MEANS OF PUMPING)