A Shehnai is a South Asian music instrument which is normally played at marriages and other ceremonies, rites and rituals. The word itself is of Muslim/Turkish origin, combining 'Sheh' (or 'Shah') 'Royal' and '-Nai' or 'Ney', a type of Flute. A version of the Shehnai, the Surnai, is also played in the Northern and North-western areas of India and Pakistan, in particular at traditional Polo matches.
Also referred as Nadasvaram in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is usually made of wood and it has to be blown like a flute to play it.
Ustaad Bismillah Khan is considered as the maestro of Shehnai.
- HW McNeil, A Journey up the Karakoram Highway, London, 1992, pp.134-135