Incredible Ancient Instruments

When we think about instruments now, we likely think of a piano or a guitar, but there are many more instruments that have been unearthed over years of exploration! Here are some of the incredible and most important ancient instruments in the world.


The santur is a Persian instrument that is similar to a Harp. It got used during the days of Cyrus in the sixth century. It is one of the oldest stringed instruments known to man, and it has been upgraded since then, with new techniques and ways of playing it discovered.


​The Mbira is a wooden instrument that is played with sticks. It plays a type of music related to the other African instruments. The music varies from country, and some have names, such as Ndebele, Shona, and Zimbabwean music.



Saung is a two-faced drum played with hands and a stick. The Saung has been played since the second century.



The Bagpipe is an ancient instrument made of sheepskin, goat skins, and elephant skins. It’s called “bagpipe” because it uses air from the player’s stomach to make its sound. Since the Iron Age, the Bagpipe has been around and was used in ancient Greece and Rome. The instrument is still played today in Scottish traditional music.



The Doudou is a West African drum made of wood and animal skin. It has been around since the sixteenth century, and it is more like a thumb piano, only more significant. The Doudou was used to send messages to other people who played the same instrument to understand what they were saying.



The lute is a stringed instrument with a long history. It is believed that the device originated in 5th-century Persia, where it was called Nashqapour or “stringed rose.” Lutes from this period on were not much different than those used today and had a deep bowl, thin neck, and light construction.



The Dulcimer is an ancient instrument made by taking a wooden board and putting thin pieces of wood on top of it. Articles of metal, called tongues, are placed on the narrow panels.



The Benet is a stringed instrument that was made of animal skin. It’s been around for about 2,000 years. It has been used in Middle Eastern music and entertainment, and it is still played today in some countries.



The Fiddle is similar to the modern Violin, with the only difference being that the three strings of the Fiddle are not twisted together like they are on the Violin. The Fiddle was invented about 200 years ago in France.


Ancient instruments, such as the Santur, Mbira, and Saung, can be used in many ways to help us understand our cultures more deeply. They can teach us about music, culture and even history.

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