A bright red turban on his weather beaten face, white dhoti and a white shirt, a bow in his hand moving gracefully over the strings of his sarrangi- is a picture of the Rajasthani which evokes the melodious and plaintive music of Rajasthan in one’s mind. The Sarangi is the most important folk musical instrument and is found in various forms in Rajasthan.
The Jogis of Abu Road area use a smaller version of the Rawanhathha which has its two main strings tuned to the ‘Sa’ of the Indian octave and a third of steel to ‘Pa’ Another remarkable bowed instrument is the Kamayacha of the Manganiyar, with its bow movies over the sympathetic and main strings, giving out an impressive deep, booming sound. The sarangis are one of the plethoras of musical instruments in use in Rajasthan. The Jantar of the Bhopas of Dev Narainji is akin to the Saraswati or Rudra Veena. It has two grounds four strings and fourteen frets.
The Ektaara is also a single string instrument, but it is mounted on the belly of a ground attached to a body made of bamboo. In western Rajasthan, a simple instrument called the Morchang is very popular. The Ghoralio is common among the Bhils, Garasiyas and the Kalbelias. Both these instruments resemble the Jewish harp.
A form of court music, the Maand is a raga formation that developed in Marwar, and includes a complex inflexion of voices, sung in a deep bass. This sophisticated form of music percolated down to folk forms and professional singers use it to sing ballads that have a haunting quality as their voice range over the desert. The Maand has also been used to sing the praises of their ruler-patrons. The Marwar Festival is now exclusively dedicated to the event in Jodhpur.