The most characteristic traditional instruments of Georgia are the chordophones: the panduri, the chonguri and the changi (in the Svanetia region, north-west of Georgia).
Some instruments of Georgia are played in other Caucasian countries (e.g. Azerbaijan, Armenia), specially the aerophones and and membraphones instruments.
In Tbilisi and other cities imported Caucasian or Persian instruments such as saz, ud, rabab and duduk (in Georgian: duduki) are played. The accordion (garmon), the concertina (buzika) and even the Spanish guitar has been adopted as instruments of accompaniment. Urban music with western harmonies using guitar accompaniment is being popular in the cities and around the country. e.g. Listen to the song "Suliko" in youtube.
Panduri. It is the most popular. It is a plucked fretted lute with three strings. The resonance box is hollow and with a boat shape. The shape may change according to the regions and maker. In eastern Georgia mountains is used the Mtiuluri panduri (fanduri) with a lengthened boat shape resonance box. The panduri is used as accompaniment of dances and songs.
Chonguri. Plucked unfretted lute with four strings. It is usually played by women.
Chianuri. Two/three bowed instrument. There are no frets in the neck. The resonance box is rounded with stretched leather. It is played with a bow. The chuniri it is a similar instrument played in Svanetia.
Changi. Triangular harp. It is very popular in Svanetia. A similar instrument can be also found in Abkhazia as ayumaa and Ossetia as duodastanon.
Larchemi/Soinari. Panpipe with six cane tubes. Different sizes and tunings. Played by megrelians and gurians, respectively, of western Georgia and close to Black Sea.
Salamuri. Whistle flute made of cane or wood with 6-8 finger-holes. It is similar to the Azeri tutek and Armenian tutak.
Pilili. Reed wind instrument used in West of Georgia as accompaniment of dances and comic songs.
Gudastviri. Bagpipe with two melody pipes and no drone. “Guda” means bag and “stviri” means pipe. The Chiboni is a bagpipe played in the south of Georgia. It is popular in Ajaria region. It is similar to the Armenian parakapzuk and the Turkish tulum. The meskhetians in the south of Georgia, bordering Turkey, they also use the word tulum.
Stviri. Flute made of cane. Played by herdsmen and children.
Bul-buls. Ceramic small whistles. The bird shape is the most common. Similar to Armenian pepuks.
Buki. It was a military large trumpet made of metal. The khoroto is a similar instrument. They are now obsolete.
Buzika. Caucasian concertina used for dancing and accompaniment to songs.
Diplipito. Small ceramic double kettle drum with leather membranes played with sticks (similar to Azeri gosha nagara and Armenian nagara).
Doli. Double-headed drum with a leather membrane. Modern dholis use to have a plastic membrane. (similar to Armenian dool and Azeri nagara)
Daira. Frame drum or tambourine with jingles (similar to Armenian daf and Azeri dyaf)
Georgian common ensembles use the salamuri, chonguri and panduri; panduri and daira; changi and chuniri; chiboni and dholi. Other Caucasian instruments may be used as an ensemble of a pair of dudukis accompanied by dholi and an accordion accompanied by a clarinet. In the picture below you can see a male choir with women holding a panduri, and other instruments such as the accordion (garmon) and doli.
Other Caucasian instruments from other non-Gerogian regions
Duduki: Wind instrument with a sweet and mellow sound. It is very popular in Armenia, being the most famous Armenia player Djivan Gasparyan.
Apkhyarta. Bowed instrumend of 1-2 strings played in Abkhazia.
Shichepshin. Bowed two string instrument with a spindle shape body of the Adygei region of Russia. http://englishrussia.com/2012/01/14/preserving-adygei-traditions/
*: Pictures taken in State Museum of Georgian Folk Songs & Musical Instruments.