5 Types of Folk Music Instruments From Around the World


Music is an international language. No matter where you are in the world, you can find a way to bond and relate to someone with a song. What’s more, there’s a unique type of music in every culture that’s typically associated with certain instruments.

More and more people are exploring different folk music with some of the world’s most unique folk music instruments. That way they’re able to express themselves, including their cultural identity, through music.

If you’re curious about some of the most unusual instruments from different parts of the world, keep reading for some of the most fascinating!

1. Theremin (Russia)

The Theremin is an electronic instrument that originated in Russia during the early 20th century. It was named after its inventor, Leon Theremin.

It is a unique instrument that is played without being touched. Instead, two metal antennas detect the movement of the player’s hands as they wave near the instrument and convert the motion into sound. Its eerie character also gives folk music a mysterious vibe, and its melodic sound can create soothing or exciting atmospheres.

2. Shakuhachi (Japan)

The Shakuhachi is a traditional Japanese musical instrument similar to a flute. With its elegant curves and bright wood, it’s easy to see why this instrument has been used for centuries as a part of traditional Japanese music.

The Shakuhachi is a part of the Japanese folk music tradition and is one of the most beloved instruments around the world. It has five distinct types of tones, and the player can change the intensity of the tone by adjusting the length of his breath.

3. Hang Drum (Switzerland)

The Hang Drum (or Handpang) of Switzerland is one of the more unique musical instruments found around the world. The instrument is made up of two hemisphere-shaped steel sheets, fused together at the apex and outfitted with a series of 8-10 tone fields.

The sound generated when the instrument is struck is similar to a steel drum, but with a more organic and ethereal quality. Due to its unique construction and sound, the hang drum is widely used in folk music from Switzerland and elsewhere.

4. Sitar (India)

Music Instruments

The Sitar is a popular musical instrument used in Central Asian music. It is a plucked string instrument, with a long neck and gourd resonator. It has seven main strings, and 19 or 21 sympathetic strings running beneath the main strings.

Playing the Sitar often involves finger and hand techniques, such as pull-offs and legato. The instrument is often associated with Indian classical music, and its sound can range from delicate melodies, drones, to intricate melodies and rapid playing.

5. Didgeridoo (Australia)

The didgeridoo is a traditional wind instrument originally created by the indigenous people of Australia. It is a long, wooden tube with painted decorations and is traditionally played by the mouth and circular breathing.

Since the instrument is largely hollow, multiple notes can be played from a single didgeridoo. The didgeridoo is a powerful representation of the Australian people’s spirit and creative energy.

Explore These Unique Folk Music Instruments

Folk music instruments from around the world have a vast diversity, ranging from small and portable instruments to drums and brass instruments, to larger instruments. These instruments offer us a wide variety of musical cultural experiences from different countries.

To find out more about them, we invite you to explore the depths of your imagination. Learn more about the history of music and different instruments, or even buy one today!

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