Indian village musicians. Indians always distinguished between classical and folk music, though in the past even classical Indian music used to rely on the unwritten transmission of repertoire.
Violeiro playing, by Almeida Júnior.
The viola caipira is a Brazilian folk instrument.

A folk instrument is a traditional musical instrument that has remained largely restricted to traditional folk music, and is not usually used in the classical music or other elite and formal musical genres of the culture concerned, though related intruments may be.

It can be made from wood, metal or other material; all the major families of instruments are represented. The instruments can be percussion instruments, or different types of flutes or trumpets, or string instruments that are plucked, hammered or use a form of bow.[1]

Some instruments are referred to as folk instruments because they commonly appear in folk music, even though they are also used in other types of music; an example is the harmonica. The classical violin and the folk fiddle may be identical.

List of folk instruments


  1. ^ "Chapter 9" (PDF). Retrieved 16 February 2020.