Ten of my favourite wind instrument songs

This is a post that’s been in the works a long time. Several years back, I’d compiled a list of string instrument songs—songs where the person lip-syncing to the lyrics is also shown ‘playing’ a guitar, sitar, ektara, mandolin or other stringed instrument. I also did a post featuring, in a similar vein, percussion instruments of different kinds: castanets, tabla, bongos, and more. Here, then, after a very long gap, is the third post in the series. Wind instrument songs.

Wind instruments, as the name implies, are instruments that create a sound as a result of wind: mostly (not always) the player blows into them—the wind in the player’s lungs produces the sound, which is amplified, made to resonate, and varied by the use of various devices built into the instrument, such as resonators, holes, the length of the air column in the instrument, and so on. Or, in some cases, the player doesn’t use his or her breath but uses his or her hands to work bellows that draw air into the instrument.

But, without further ado, onto the list. As always, this consists of songs from pre-70s films that I’ve seen. Plus, with two important rules that I imposed on myself for the previous two posts on musical instrument songs:

(a) The ‘singer’ (the actor lip-syncing to the song) should be the one playing the instrument in question. In the case of wind instruments, it’s difficult for the person to be singing and playing at the same time (if the instrument happens to be one you have to blow into, like a bagpipe or flute), but some singing and some playing, in the course of the song, by the same person, is acceptable.

(b) The singer should actually be pretending to play the instrument. Prancing around with it and using it like a prop doesn’t count.

Onto the songs, then.  These are in no particular order.

1. Harmonica. Aankhon pe bharosa mat kar (Detective, 1959): The harmonica—also known as the mouth organ, the blues harp, and the French harp—is among the most unobtrusive of musical instruments. It looks rather like a fat comb (in fact, the main body of the harmonica is known as the comb) and is played by blowing air into and out of the many holes along the front. (This, by the way, was the only musical instrument I remember having seen at our home when I was small. My sister, as a toddler, trying to play the harmonica, ended up kissing it repeatedly).

For me, the best ‘performance’ with a harmonica onscreen is in Hai apna dil toh awaara (for the recording of which the harmonica was played by a very young old RD Burman). However, since Sundar doesn’t sing even a single line of the song, I had to regretfully drop that one from the reckoning. Instead, there’s this—also very likeable—duet, in which not only do Pradeep Kumar and Daisy Irani prance all over the deck of a ship and sing their hearts out, both of them also play the harmonica. Bonus.

2. Saxophone. Aajkal tere-mere pyaar ke charche (Brahmachari, 1968): The sax—named for its inventor, Adolphe Sax (a Belgian who created the instrument in 1841)—is typically made of brass, and has long been a very popular instrument across genres: all the way from jazz to classical music. It’s often part of bands, including classical orchestras as well as military bands.

And Hindi cinema has its fair share of saxophones appearing onscreen: one of my favourite examples is Hai duniya usi ki, in which choreographer Surya Kumar (aka Master Robert) appears, playing the saxophone. Shammi Kapoor, who lip-syncs to the song, however doesn’t play the instrument there.

Here, though, in a song crowded with musical instruments—from a piano accordion to a piano, all of which Shammi Kapoor plays at some point or the other— he does play the sax. And, importantly, the sax plays an important part in the music of Aajkal tere-mere pyaar ke charche: it dominates the interludes. A fabulously infectious song, and perfect for the sax.  

3. Trombone. Dilbar dilbar kehte kehte (Haseena Maan Jaayegi, 1968): Like the saxophone, the trombone is a brass wind instrument, though this one dates from a much earlier period than the sax: the trombone is believed to have been derived from the sackbut, which had originated in Europe in the 1400s. Its name is derived from the Italian tromba (‘trumpet’) and the suffix –one (‘large’): a ‘large trumpet’. The trombone is characterized by a sliding mechanism on the side.

Although he spends a wee bit of time ‘playing’ a guitar (and loads of time not pretending to play anything) in this song, white-jacketed Shashi Kapoor does pick up a trombone twice in the course of Dilbar dilbar kehte kehte. He doesn’t merely toot on it; he even does some pretty agile acrobatics while still holding it (I wonder if any real trombone player could hold a tune while somersaulting the way Mr Kapoor does).

4. Harmonium. Bahut shukriya badi meherbaani (Ek Musaafir Ek Haseena, 1962): The harmonium came to India from the West, and was soon adopted and made part of Indian classical music. Also known in the West as a pump organ (and most often seen with a foot pedal used to pump the air), in India the harmonium became more popular without the foot pedal—and with one hand being used to work the bellows that pump the air, while the other hand plays the keyboard.

The harmonium, while not as ubiquitous as the sitar, makes its fair share of appearances in Hindi films songs, especially in ones where the singer is a bonafide performer: a professional musician, a music teacher (or pupil), for instance. Bahut shukriya badi meherbaani is one of the relatively rare exceptions, since Joy Mukherjee’s character is an army officer, not a musician. Having lost his memory as a result of concussion, he finds himself rescued by a girl (who’s a runaway bride, no less). He sets about expressing his gratitude to her (and to her companions, a boy and a dog)—with a harmonium for accompaniment. Ek Musaafir Ek Haseena had an excellent score, and this is the first of several great songs in the film.

5. Accordion. Har dil jo pyaar karega woh gaana gaayega (Sangam, 1964): Like the harmonium, the accordion is a bellows-driven instrument. Inside the accordion are reeds (metal strips) which vibrate to produce sound when air flows over them—air which is controlled by working the bellows and simultaneously pressing the keys on a keyboard. There are a wide range of accordions found across the western hemisphere; it is generally accepted that it was invented in its basic form in about 1822, but the actual date could have been even earlier according to some sources. A lot of dance music and folk music in Europe and the New World tends to use the accordion. Not so much Hindi cinema; unlike the harmonium, the accordion isn’t quite so common. In Har dil jo pyaar karega, however, Raj Kapoor carries his accordion all through the song (and appears to be playing it fairly convincingly in places, though since I’m no authority, I can’t say).

6. Shehnai. Haule-haule ghoonghat pat khole (Goonj Uthi Shehnai, 1959): After two instruments that involve working bellows to produce sound, it’s back to an instrument that, like the trombone and sax, requires the player’s breath to enable it to produce music: the shehnai. A ‘double reed’ instrument (which means it contains two lengths of cane, vibrating against each other), the shehnai flares into a bell-shaped end, which makes it resemble a clarinet. Across much of the Indian subcontinent, the shehnai (also appropriately known as the mangal vaadya) is equated with auspicious tidings, and is therefore a popular instrument at weddings and other occasions for celebration.

(And, though it’s making my post grow long, I can’t resist adding a delightful little legend surrounding the origins of the shehnai. The shehnai is believed to have originated from the pungi, and the story goes that this happened when a certain king—a ‘shah’—banned the pungi from his court, objecting to its shrillness. A barber (a ‘naai’) who hailed from a family of musicians took it upon himself to change the pungi, soften its notes, make it a more refined instrument—and what resulted was the ‘shah’+’naai’: the shehnai).

But, the song. For a film which was named after a shehnai, Goonj Uthi Shehnai had only a couple of songs in which Rajendra Kumar, who acts as a shehnai player here, actually sings and plays the instrument in the same song. In Haule-haule ghoonghat pat khole, he sings in the middle of the song, and plays the shehnai at the beginning and towards the end. Beautifully played, too, by the shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan. His shehnai (and the songs of the film) are the main reason to watch Goonj Uthi Shehnai.

7. Been. Hey Abdullah naaginwaala aa gaya (Ishaara, 1964): Also known as the pungi, this is an instrument used by snake charmers in their performances. The pungi or been consists of a spherical gourd—which is held to the snake charmer’s mouth—ending in two or three reed pipes. Contrary to popular belief, though, it’s highly likely that snakes (which lack external ears, and sense sound through vibrations) don’t actually dance to the music of the been, but mimic the snake charmer’s swaying as he plays. 

One would have expected the Vyjyanthimala-Pradeep Kumar starrer Naagin, what with its motif of snakes and snake charmers, to have a number of songs that featured the been, but while the been is there, the snake charmer is too busy playing it to actually have time to sing. Not so with Joy Mukherji’s character in this song from Ishaara (but that’s possibly because he’s not really a snake charmer, just a stage artiste acting as one).

8. Penny whistle. Pyaar hua ikraar hua hai (Shree 420, 1955): The penny whistle or tin whistle is one of the simplest of wind instruments: a thin flute with six holes. This is one of a group of wind instruments known as ‘fipple flutes’, of which the baansuri (the common Indian flute, so synonymous with Krishna) is one. While it’s widely associated with Celtic music, the penny whistle does show up in other cultures as well.

Raj Kapoor, who had a good ear for music and was even musically trained, appears in many songs with a musical instrument (three in this list itself, quite a feat). In this classic song—one that remains popular even after so many years—he toots along on the penny whistle in between singing a duet with his lady love.

9. Bagpipe. Tere mann ki Ganga aur mere mann ki Jamuna (Sangam, 1964): As its name suggests, a pipe which centres round a bag—an airtight reservoir made of a variety of materials, including thick cloth or (more commonly) skin. A blowpipe is used to blow into the bag; there are other parts to create different types of music. While most people tend to associate bagpipes only with Scotland, they are in fact widespread across several other regions, including Continental Europe, North Africa, and West Asia.

Tere mann ki Ganga aur mere mann ki Jamuna isn’t one of my favourite songs, but it will have to do here, because I couldn’t think of another song in Hindi cinema where someone plays the bagpipe and sings (a horde of children form a marching band dominated by bagpipes in Hum bhi agar bachche hote, but they don’t sing). Raj Kapoor, on the other hand, manages to multitask pretty well: he plays the bagpipe, he sings, he gesticulates, and he maintains his balance up on a tree.

10. Baansuri. Tu mera chaand main teri chaandni (Dillagi, 1949): The bansuri or murli is one of the most visible of musical instruments in Hindi cinema: as the instrument associated with Krishna, it also finds itself associated generally with shringaar ras, with love and courtship and an expression of joy. The baansuri is a type of flute, more specifically a side-blown flute, traditionally made from bamboo (though now some other materials, including fiberglass, are also used). The baansuri is played by blowing through the blow hole while closing or opening (with fingers) the series of holes at the other end of the flute.

Many actors (and some actresses, playing Krishna in dances) have used the baansuri as a prop. Few do it as convincingly as does Shyam in Dillagi. His character here is a village man who plays the baansuri so well that it (somewhat predictably, given that this happens frequently in Hindi cinema) draws to him the young woman whom he falls in love with. Suraiya begins this song while Shyam ‘plays’ the baansuri, and soon he joins in too (Shyam Kumar, who also acted in this film, sang playback for Shyam in this song). A classic love song, and the baansuri pieces are excellent.

Which other songs can you think of that fit this theme? Please share!

92 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite wind instrument songs

  1. Cool post, and songs! Quickly went and also watched “Main Aaya Hoon” – Dev Anand on the saxophone and a gang of girls on other instruments – from 1974’s Amir Garib hence not eligible for your pre-70’s list, but still. Have a great day!


  2. Dear Madhu,
    I have always been in awe of the way you research the themes chosen by you, and the fabulous music emerging from them!

    This post “Ten of my favourite wind instruments….) has to be one of the best ever, even with the high standards set by you….

    It will take me quite a while to listen to all the songs in the “categories” listed….and I look forward to the experience..
    Meanwhile, I felt like sending the Link to this song from “Sahibaan” …picturised in Manali)

    Directed by Ramesh Talwar;
    Photographed by KK Mahajan,
    Music by Shiv-Hari.

    “Bansuri Yeh Bansuri Nahin”


  3. This is a delightful post even by your standards, Madhu! My little contribution – the trumpet, “played” by Uttam Kumar in the prelude to ‘Chhoti Si Mulaqat’ from the eponymous movie. Will that count?

    Mohd Rafi: “Chhoti Si Mulaqat Pyar Ban Gayi” (Chhoti Si Mulaqat, 1967)

    Incidentally, the origins of the name ‘Shehnai’ are a little more prosaic than that apocryphal if charming anecdote suggests. ‘Ney’ (pronounced नेइ) is the Persian for flute. So ‘Shehnai’ translates to, simply, ‘royal flute’.


    • Yes, that bit at the beginning of Chhoti si Mulaqat does count! Nice. And thank you for the correct (though definitely less fascinating) reason for the name of the shehnai. ;-) If only all the best anecdotes were true!


  4. And like father like son… Rishi Kapoor also played a lot of instruments on screen and apparently learnt to play some of them too..
    Here is Bachna Ai Haseeno from Hum Kisi Se KAm Nahin with Rishi Kapoor on a trumpet


    • Nice! Yes, Rishi Kapoor did ‘play’ a lot of musical instruments onscreen – I also remember Dafli waale dafli baja and another reader has added Baansuri yeh baansuri in the comments. I’m sure there are many more among the various musicians/singers he portrayed in films.

      I love this song. Thank you!


  5. Johnny Walker played the harmonica in the starting of ‘Bombay meri jaan’…does that count?
    It’s a shame ‘Hai apna dil to awaara’ couldn’t qualify…the harmonica completely steals the show.
    Once we were playing antakshari in our school and I started singing the song .To my surprise everyone joined in, humming the tune! They had no idea from which film it was or who the singer was..but they knew the harmonica…that’s how iconic it is!

    I really want to thank you for all the trivia as well!


    • What a wonderful little anecdote about Hai apna dil toh aawaara – true, it is very iconic!

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you so much. :-) And yes, the harmonica in Ae dil hai mushkil certainly counts.


    • Madhu,
      This is an excellent compilation. For five instruments I thought of exactly the same songs. I liked the story about Shehnai. Why let facts spoil it, as my friend Subodh Agrawal said.

      You may have to revise your statement that the harmonium is not as ubiquitous as the sitar. I think harmonium is the most ubiquitous instrument in India, including in films. All qawwalis, street dancers, ghazal-bhajan singers, play it while singing.


  6. This is a nice list, Madhu (as always), though I tend to think of the keyboard wind instruments as being entirely different from the ones that require breath. You are right that the harmonium can be found a lot of times in Hindi films, and it’s far more common to see someone singing while playing the harmonium than while playing those other kinds of instruments (for obvious reasons). But we could add to the criteria… What if the person shown playing the harmonium and singing on screen also has to be the one who wrote the lyrics (such as Shailendra in a song from Musafir)? I thought of this also because it’s Manna Dey’s death anniversary…

    But maybe the requirement about writing the lyrics would limit things a bit too much…

    Last week, I happened to return to the songs from Sunehre Din, which I am very fond of. I like this song where Nigar Sultana is shown singing (with Kalyani’s voice) and playing the harmonium and even dancing a little (though Rehana is dancing much more). The playing on screen doesn’t seem very convincing to me; she’s hardly touching the keys and I don’t see any keys moving. But I still like seeing Nigar Sultana “playing” the harmonium.


    • Glad you liked this post, Richard! Yes, I guess keyboard wind instruments and the type that require a user’s breath to act as ‘wind’ are two different subcategories of wind instruments, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to find sufficient songs in each subcategory to fill up two posts! Therefore clubbing them seemed the best bet.

      Tedhi-tedhi hum se phire was new to me (or at least I think so – I could have forgotten it). And I certainly hadn’t known that was Shailendra! Wow. I don’t think I’ve heard of any other lyricists appearing in songs, though there are several playback singers who do put in an appearance onscreen, such as Mukesh.

      Oh, Nighar Sultana is nice in Tumhaare ho gaye! Very nice.


      • I don’t know if other lyricists have appeared in any songs, but I know that Shailendra has shown up a few times. My favorite is his appearance in Boot Polish. I’ll add the clip here, though that’s not a wind instrument. (I think that’s the string instrument known as a benju.)

        Regarding the “Tumhare Ho Gaye,” I am glad that you agree that Nigar Sultana is very nice in that!


      • Very nice Madhulika. A lot of effort must have gone in preparing such a list. I was glad to see RK receiving some appreciation:) I’ll think of a few songs but right now, here is Shailendra sahab ‘singing’ another song: Chali kaun se desh from Bootpolish:


        • Yes, Richard posted a link to this too. Thank you!

          I realized I can think of one other lyricist who appears onscreen ‘singing’. Anand Bakshi lip-syncs to Bijli giri kahaan se in Picnic.


  7. I love that song in Haseena Maan Jayeegi. I also enjoy the plot point clarinet in Sachaa Jhutha.

    Govinda does a lot of on the nose fake flute playing (as well as the Krishna gesture flute mime) because his songs are unsurprisingly full of Krishna metaphors, and he also did a few snake charm flute playing things too, but I won’t post all of those here. The best one is from Swarg:

    I was watching Maharaja and that has a truly great bird-shaped traditional instrument I don’t know and of which I don’t know if it’s even a real thing because it’s a fake pan flute in the song:


    • I’ve watched I think only two Govinda films. :-( So my knowledge of his films is seriously lacking, though I do recall songs with the Krishna trope (Hindi TV used to show lots of song programmes once upon a time, so one ended up being aware of songs even if one hadn’t watched the films). But I don’t think I’ve heard either Kaise kate din or Main tera deewaana before. That bird appendage on the musical instrument is probably just something tagged on to the end of – I don’t know what. Something which looks like a flute but has a double reed. I wonder what that is.


      • People tend to focus on his post-Coolie no.1 films, when imo his best work was mostly before that. It’s weird how some of his stuff with David Dhawan is amazing and the rest is basically unwatchable, with no middle ground.

        I think it’s just a double clarinet with a thing on it, but it could also be a pungi with a bird shape over the round bit?


  8. Hi Madhuji,

    Firstly, please allow me to compliment you on the wonderful post. The long wait was certainly worth all the effort! Kudos!!

    I am sharing some additions. Not sure if I have identified all the instruments correctly, but appreciate any clarifications.
    1) Sachaa Jhutha: Rajesh Khanna plays the tuba (?) in the first version of the iconic song “Meri pyaari beheniya” Later in the 2nd version, he plays the tuba and the clarinet(? or is it shehnai?) in the same song.
    In the title song of the film, he plays the clarinet to the tune of “Dil sacha aur chehra jhutha.
    2) Geet: Mere mitwa mere meet re: In both the solo and duet versions, Rajendra Kumar sings and plays the flute (albeit very briefly).
    3) Suraj – Rajendra Kumar plays the Nadaswaram (?) in Kaise samjhaun, badi na samajh
    4) Gehri Chaal – Jeetendra plays the “whistle” in the song Jaipur Ki Choli


    • Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. And thank you so much also for the songs you suggested; the nadaswaram one is a particular gem. Mere mitwa mere meet re was on my shortlist, but it’s not a song I like much, so I was happy to find Tu mera chaand to represent the baansuri instead.


  9. It is too short, but the initial strains of Geet Gaata Chal title track has Sachin playing the flute. For the rest of the song the flute is a prop…but as the Krishna reference came up in the comments above, I thought we could add this


  10. A great post. A nice song list. It was interesting and informative.
    At present can’t think of any song to add. All the songs I would have added are already mentioned by others.



  11. It’s in Punjabi so I hope it doesn’t get disqualified, but here’s probably one of Pakistan’s most famous film songs, and it’s even got “Wanjhl” or ‘Flute’ in the title.


    • No, it won’t get disqualified. :-) I don’t mind readers adding songs from different languages and from outside my time line. I hadn’t heard Wanjli waale re aa before, but it’s nice. Thank you!


  12. Madhuji, nice post and some lovely songs.

    Here are the songs I could think of:-

    Harmonica – Chupke se mile pyaase Pyaase – Manzil

    Harmonium – O Dilwale hum teri Gali tak aa pahunche – Kala Pani (a lovely Dev Anand and Madhubala duet)

    Shehnai – Roop Tera Aisa Darpan Me Na Samai – Ek Baar Muskura do

    Would like to add here that though the first name that comes to mind when we think of the shehnai is that of Ustaad Bismillah Khan, the first notes of the shehnai that we hear in the film Goonj uthi Shehnai were played by the unsung music director Ram Lal Chaudhary, who later went on to direct the music for Geet Gaya Patharon ne and Sehra. His interview on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lltKRbUp9-c) says it all. He never got credit for this, because of which he did not watch the movie, he says in his interview.
    Will try to add more songs with other instruments if I remember.


    • Thank you for those songs! I wish I’d remembered that the harmonica features in Chupke se mile pyaase-pyaase – I love that song.

      Thank you for that bit about the shehnai being played by Ram Lal Chaudhary; sad that he was never acknowledged for it.


  13. This is a very very cool post for sure. Most of the songs chosen for the list are my favourites. And it’s an extremely pleasant surprise to see the 1st song (Aankhon pe bharosa mat kar) which I like very much and which may be unknown to a sizeable part of today’s music-lovers.


  14. I think the song Kuhu Kuhu Bole Koyaliya from Suvarana Sundari which has Nageswara Rao playing a fancy looking flute for all the interludes will be applicable for your criteria? As you reviewed it recently – it is significant for the plot because the flute can magically pull Anjali Devi, the apsara, from the heavens to him. And she gets in trouble for that, thus allowing her to unleash her core strength – tears, copious amounts of it :)
    I loved the post, such a unique idea and wealth of information on the songs. Thank you.


    • Oh, yes! I should have remembered that one. *slaps forehead*. Such a great song, and the wind instrument is so integral to the plot too. Thank you for reminding me of that.

      Glad you liked the post! Thank you.


  15. How did I miss this post? :( Such a wonderful addition to the other ‘instrument’ lists you did, Madhu.

    So nice to see three RK songs in the list. :) Here’s another:
    RK playing the been in Tera dil ka makaan from Do Ustaad.

    The piano accordion is also a wind instrument, isn’t it? Har dil jo pyar karega from Sangam.

    And Mud mud ke na dekh has him playing the trumpet too.

    Sun bairi balam from Baawre Nain has him playing the flute, but unfortunately, it won’t fit in because he’s not singing.

    From RK to SK – Shammi in Teesri Manzil. In O haseena zulfonwali he plays the trumpet, saxophone and trombone.

    And in Kashmir ki Kali, he plays the harmonica in Kisi na kisi se.

    In Suno zindagi gaati hai from Pagla Kahin Ka, he plays the sax (among other instruments like the piano and violin). But like RK in Suno bairi balam, he doesn’t sing. :(


      • Hi again,

        I was so hoping that someone would remember “Rim Jhim Gire Saawan”(sung by Kishore Kumar) and post it here….
        One of my all time fav. songs too….
        Thanks Anu!

        In a “visual” sense….”Rim Jhim Gire Saawan” sung by Lata Mangeshkar is the one that is often remembered…. as one of the iconic songs in the rain.

        I should know since I watched both songs being filmed..(several years apart!!).

        That’s how long “Manzil” (released in 1979) took to be completed….

        (Directed by Basu Chatterjee, Photographed by KK Mahajan;
        Lyrics by Yogesh, Music: R D Burman )

        Praba Mahajan


        • You’re welcome, Prabaji.
          You’re so right about the visuals in the Lata version of Rhim jhim gire saawan – it makes me yearn for Bombay! I miss it so much!

          But as a song, it is the Kishore version that sets my heart aflutter. :)


          • Anu, You nailed it..when you said “it’s the Kishore version that sets my heart aflutter”…

            And please, pretty please ( even if that dates me!) do drop the ‘ji’…

            Thanks again for posting this song.

            I felt that I had already done that hat tip (for KK, among others)
            with that song from “Sahibaan” .
            The film had great music/ songs, and lovely locales, but did not work at the box-office).

            But I digress…
            The theme of fav. wind instrument songs has been so beautifully put together by Madhu…not surprised at the response(s) pouring in..

            On that happy note,
            Thanks to all.



  16. Hi,
    I am a big fan of your blog and have been following for it for couple of years. I have enjoyed all the songs posted here by you and also by others.

    Here’s a shehnai song from a Kannada file called Sanadi Appanna. The shehnai is by Bismillah Khan. “Karedaru Kelade….”


    • Beautiful song, and lovely shehnai. The shehnai player doesn’t also ‘sing’, though – and that’s one of the important criteria for this list. But thank you, anyway: I enjoyed this a lot.


  17. I’m reading this post rather late. It’s fabulous! A lovely them, and gems of songs!
    Having read through the post and the comments, I don’t have any song to add on the theme.

    But your very first song reminded me of another of my favourite songs
    sanware salone aaye din bahar ke

    where also Daisy Irani plays the harmonica (but does not sing, so does not qualify).

    I too expected many more songs with the been. But when I started thinking of the been-player also singing, my mind went blank!

    I haven’t seen your earlier posts on string and percussion instruments; they were before I was following your blog. Now I will visit them too.



    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, Meena. I love Saanwle-salone aaye din bahaar ke; if Daisy Irani had indeed sung in it too, it would have definitely been a contender for inclusion in this list.


  18. Fun theme, Madhu. I’m impressed by the all the different wind instruments you were able to find songs for – Hindi films zindabaad! :-)

    My son plays the clarinet and I tried to think of a song featuring someone playing the clarinet, but came up empty. Anyway, here a few more songs that haven’t been mentioned yet:

    Dharmendra on the trumpet. Tu mera main teri – Pyar Hi Pyar

    Gulshan Bawra on the harmonium. Deewane hai deewano ko na ghar – Zanjeer

    Mumtaz and Mehmood playing flutes, saxophone, and been/clarinet in Mastana hoye parwana hoye from Chandan Ka Palna.


    • Thank you so much, Shalini! I had been thinking of Tu mera main teri duniya jale toh jale, and though I didn’t include it in the final list, there is a token nod to it in the introductory screenshot of this post. :-)

      I couldn’t think of any songs featuring a clarinet, either. Someday, perhaps, we’ll discover one.


  19. Madhuji,

    A brilliant comprehensive post with useful information on the instruments, complemented by a nice list of songs. Equally enjoyable and appropriate are the songs posted in the comments.

    Sharing some songs from my side:

    Sholay 1975 – Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge

    Satte Pe Satta 1982- Zindagi milke bitayenge

    Dukki pe dukki ho ya satte pe satta

    Swami 1977– kaa karoon sajni aaye na baalam

    Pati Patni aur Woh 1978– Ladki cyclewali

    Aashiqui 1990 – Tu meri zindagi hai

    Alag Alag 1985 – Kabhi bekasi ne mara

    Rishi Kapoor playing a flute again…
    Sheshnaag 1990 – Dosti ke geet main gaata hoon


  20. Yes! I agree. There were many harmonium songs in the 70s and 80s. Here are a few:
    Majboor 1974 – roothe rab ko manana aasan hai (inspired from Leke pehla pehla pyar)

    Minoo 1977 – Teri galiyon mein hum aaye

    Apnapan 1978 – Aadmi musafir hai

    And Rajesh Khanna playing the trumpet for a few seconds…
    Apna Desh 1972 – Duniya mein logon ko

    Shammi Kapoor playing the accordion briefly and singing in the last antara
    Parvarish 1977 – Hum premee prem karna

    Harmonica songs:
    Shaan 1980 – Naam abdul hai mera

    Kaalia 1981 – kaun kisi ko baandh saka


  21. Some songs from the 60s fitting in the timeline:

    Padosan 1968 – Ek chatur naar badi hoshiyar

    Dus Lakh 1966 – Garibon ki suno wo tumhari sunega

    Ek Phool Do Mali 1969 – Aulad walo phoolon phalo

    Aankhen 1968 – De daata ke naam tujhko allah rakhe – Dhumal playing the flute and singing few lines

    Leader 1964 – Mujhe duniyawalo sharabi na samjho – Dilip Kumar playing the trumpet in the prelude to the song


  22. How about this ?
    from Aan Milo Sajan – Jawani o Diwani Tu Zindabad

    and this ?
    From Bachpan movie – Aaya Re Khilone Wala Khel Khilone Leke Aaya


  23. What do you think of these instrument based songs? I’m sure you may not have heard of these songs
    Pyar Ke Nagme Kisne Chhede…

    Ek Udaan Khatola…

    Tumhe kaise bata doon…


    • Oh, nice! I hadn’t heard any of these. But I liked these a lot, so peppy and fun. Pyaar ke naghme kisne chede reminded me a little of Aajkal tere-mere pyaar ke charche har zabaan par. :-)


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